The crowd at Steven Bonk’s campaign offices watch as Premier Brad Wall makes his victory speech on election night. Former Moosomin MLA Don Toth and newly elected MLA Steven Bonk are standing at right.
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Bonk ready to get down to work as MLA

April 11, 2016 8:13 am
Kevin Weedmark


Steven Bonk is the new MLA for the Moosomin constituency, and he said election night he is ready to get right down to work. Bonk won the Moosomin riding with a massive share of the vote. Bonk, the Saskatchewan Party candidate, received the support of 4,898 voters. Ashlee Hicks of the NDP received 991 votes, Lloyd Hauser of the PCs got 275 votes, Green candidate Kate Ecklund got 241 votes, independent Trevor Bearance had 209 votes and Liberal Janice Palmer received 182 votes.

“Just a few minutes ago I got a call from Ashlee Hicks, the NDP candidate,” Bonk told supporters in his campaign office as the results came in.

“She offered her congratulations. She was very gracious. She ran a very respectful and a very open campaign in our constituency so I really want to make sure she understands how much I appreciated the level we did this on.

“I would like to thank my family first and foremost, so Candace and Emma thank you so much for putting up with me in this last month. It hasn’t been easy, I know. I’d like to thank my parents. I remember when I was a little kid I was asking what is the difference between right and left, and my dad gave me a very simple explanation. He said there are two types of people. Some people want to have government more involved in your life, and some people want to have government less involved in your life, and I’ll never forget that. That started me on this path of thinking about how politics works.

“I really want to thank the volunteers. This could not have happened without the volunteers.

“I’d really like to thank Don Toth. What a high bar he has set, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. The level of integrity and class and ethics, and how to do things properly. Hopefully he will be there to answer all my questions.”

Bonk said in an interview that he was overwhelmed with the support he saw in the election.

“It feels great—I’m overwhelmed with the support and the well wishes from everyone,” he said. “After two years of planning this and working hard toward it, it’s nice to finally see it realized.”

Bonk said he was confident going into the election in the Moosomin riding—which has been a strong Saskatchewan Party seat since the party was formed, and is one of only two ridings in the province to have never elected an NDP MLA.

“I felt very confident. There’s always that small little bit of doubt that’s in your mind, but I did feel confident, because we put in the work, and we met with a lot of people, and I could feel there was quite strong support.

There are a lot of very good people in this constituency that I didn’t know. It was a pleasure to have met them. They have different views, they have different ideas, and it’s been a wonderful experience to get to know all those people.

I believe we have caucus meetings coming up this week. It’s going to be a fairly steep learning curve in the next few weeks.

It is a big constituency There are some places I wish I could have spent more time but it’s just so big it was hard to get everywhere. I tried my best though

I’ve restructured a lot of my holdings so I don’t have to be personally involved on a day-to-day basis. I’ve organized things so I can directly focus on being the MLA.

The leadership of Brad Wall—the direction he’s taken our province, and the support of the volunteers and all of the people who are backing me in this constituency. It’s humbling to know how many people are behind you.

Bonk said he was confident going into the election in the Moosomin riding—which has been a strong Saskatchewan Party seat since the party was formed, and is one of only two ridings in the province to have never elected an NDP MLA.

“I felt very confident. There’s always that small little bit of doubt that’s in your mind, but I did feel confident, because we put in the work, and we met with a lot of people, and I could feel there was quite strong support.”

What did he learn during the course of the election?

“I learned that there are a lot of very good people in this constituency that I didn’t know,” he said. “It was a pleasure to have met them. They have different views, they have different ideas, and it’s been a wonderful experience to get to know all those people. It is a big constituency. There are some places I wish I could have spent more time but it’s just so big it was hard to get everywhere. I tried my best, though.”

What does he credit for his win?

“The leadership of Brad Wall—the direction he’s taken our province, and the support of the volunteers and all of the people who are backing me in this constituency. It’s humbling to know how many people are behind you.

“It shows you that the Sask Party is doing something right. The people of this constituency have given a strong mandate to us, that we are going forward in the right direction. It’s overwhelming. On a personal level it makes you feel very good, but it’s also very humbling because now the people of this constituency have backed my value set—my beliefs—they agree with what I’m trying to bring forward.”

He said a lot of work went into the campaign.

“There’s so much people don’t see—how hard the politicians have to work,” he said. “There’s a lot to it. It’s like anything, 90 per cent of the work you won’t see.”

Bonk was heading into Regina on election night to meet with his Sask Party colleagues, and said his work as an MLA would begin immediately.

“I believe we have caucus meetings coming up this week,” he said. “It’s going to be a fairly steep learning curve in the next few weeks.”

Bonk said he has restructured his business to allow him to focus on his role as an MLA.

“I’ve restructured a lot of my holdings so I don’t have to be personally involved on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I’ve organized things so I can directly focus on being the MLA.”

D’Autremont re-elected in Cannington

Long-serving Saskatchewan Party MLA Dan D’Autremont was re-elected in the Cannington riding, which includes Wawota, Fairlight, and Maryfield.

D’Autremont was first elected in 1991.

In this election he won with 84.4 per cent of the vote. D’Autremont received 6,375 votes, Nathaniel Cole of the NDP received 667 votes, PC Kurt Schmidt received 248 votes, and Liberal Patrick Dennie and Green Party candidate Tierra Lemieux received 133 votes each.

Kaeding wins in Melville-Saltcoats

Saskatchewan Party candidate Warren Kaeding won easily in Melville-Saltcoats. Kaeding was a new candidate as former MLA Bob Bjornerud has retired. The riding is north fo the Qu’Appelle, and includes Tantallon and Spy Hill. Kaeding won with 72.3 per cent of the vote.

He had the support of 5,242 voters, New Democrat Leonard Dales had the support of 1,609 voters, PC Diana Lowe received 196 votes, Liberal Igor Riabchuk received 136 votes, and independent Trevor Ratti had the support of 65 voters.


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