Sask Party, NDP campaigns spent little time in rural areas

October 26, 2020, 3:57 pm
Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Premier Scott Moe and Opposition Leader Ryan Mieli did most of their campaigning in the cities of Regina and Saskatoon during the provincial election. Scott Moe unveiled the Saskatchewan Party platform at an event in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan's 2020 provincial election has been different in many ways due to COVID-19 restrictions, and was also different in that the leaders of both the Saskatchewan Party and New Democratic Party have not made many forays into rural Saskatchewan.

It was a campaign where typical rallies didn’t happen, where media were told to register their attendance in advance because only 30 people could be at any gathering.

It was a low-key campaign as result of health restrictions, and online was an important avenue to get the word out.

The leaders would don and doff their masks as they came to the microphone, with candidates standing well-spaced and well behind their leaders.

Each party held “drive-in rallies” in Regina and Saskatoon towards the end of the campaign.

The typical campaign bus was not a feature until the end, when the NDP used a rented former STC bus, emphasizing a campaign promise to restore STC service. Prior to that, Meili travelled in a campaign van.

Moe used a large SUV for much of the tour.

Nearly all the of the daily announcement press availabilities were made in either Regina or Saskatoon, with occasional forays to Moose Jaw, The Battlefords and Prince Albert.

Meili made a foray into the north, but Moe did not.

During the writ period, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 26, neither NDP Leader Ryan Meili nor Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe made it to many of the larger rural centres. Yorkton, Carlyle, Estevan, Weyburn, Humboldt, Assiniboia and Kindersley did not see either leader visit.

Meili’s leadership tour made it to Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, the Battlefords, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Balgonie, Indian Head, Southey, Duck Lake, Meadow Lake, Beauval and La Ronge.

Moe made it to Regina, Saskatoons, the Battleford, Prince Albert, Shellbrook, Rosthern, Moose Jaw, Davidson and Southey.

Moe made a point of travelling to many rural areas of the province--including Moosomin--in the lead up to the election, as opposed to during the election period itself.