Sask. NDP leadership hopeful Trent Wotherspoon with Cumberland MLA Doyle Vermette

Saskatchewan NDP leadership hopeful Trent Wotherspoon was in La Ronge today to make two campaign promises.

One of his promises is to provide core funding for the Northern Trappers Association, while the other would see the Ministry of Northern Affairs re-established.

“We have people making decisions out of the premier’s office in Regina so far removed from the north, with limited understanding of the north — making decisions like they know best,” said Wotherspoon. “We need to have an office that’s funded and empowered, and respected in the north.”

Meanwhile, Wotherspoon says there are over 4000 trappers supported through the Trappers Association, who would benefit from the core funding he is promising.

“These trappers have limited abilities to organize and to come together,” said Wotherspoon. “So this is about building out support for this heritage industry and to have practical supports in place for trappers, so they can organize themselves, support one another, but also be a very important voice with government.”

Northern Affairs ceased to be a stand-alone ministry in 2007, shortly after the Saskatchewan Party government took office.

The NDP choose a new leader at a convention in Regina on March 3.