Meadow Lake Election Race Worth Watching

Friday, October 12, 2007 at 15:29



One of the most intriguing battles in the current provincial election campaign will be in the Meadow Lake constituency.


Incumbent First Nations and Metis Relations Minister Maynard Sonntag will be trying to hold off a challenge from former Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River Member of Parliament Jeremy Harrison, who now represents the Saskatchewan Party.


Sonntag says the NDP’s record speaks for itself when it comes to working with and for the Aboriginal community, pointing specifically to initiatives in education, the paving of reserve roads and increased gaming revenues.


Meanwhile, Harrison believes his own experience working on behalf of the Aboriginal community in the House of Commons will resonate with the constituents in Meadow Lake and surrounding area.


However, Harrison admits a “bad call” and “error in judgment” following his loss to Gary Merasty in last year’s federal election may have cost him some support in the Aboriginal community.


Harrison was vilified by many Aboriginal leaders for comparing some reserves to “banana republics” after seeing their vote numbers.


But Harrison feels he has grown from the experience, and he also points out he has apologized for any wrongdoing.


Sonntag says both parties recognize the power of the Aboriginal vote in this race, since the support of the Aboriginal community was vital in determining a winner in the riding in years past.