The federal New Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River has been out on the campaign trail.

Harmonie King, a social worker from Meadow Lake said her campaign has so far gotten out to a number of communities in the vast riding including Beauval, La Ronge and Loon Lake to name a few.

“I have been talking with a lot of people, I’ve getting out into the communities, knocking on doors and people have been very friendly and very supportive,” she said.

While King has been out in the riding she has been hearing about a number of issues. One issue which she has been hearing about especially is health care and specifically mental health and addictions care.

“People are struggling to receive adequate health services and also mental health services in regards to people struggling with suicidal ideation, or different types of mental health diagnoses or people struggling with addictions,” she said.

King said in her time working as a register social worker she has had to go into schools to help debrief staff and students who have been directly impacted by suicide. She added she has attended children’s funerals.

“I am someone who sees a lot of the needs that are not being supported in the areas within this northern riding,” she said.

The federal NDP platform has a number of policy proposals which King believes would be helpful in dealing with these issues. Specifically, the party’s support for decriminalizing drug usage and promises to support harm reduction programming.

Another important issue which King has heard about on the campaign trail is in regards to infrastructure. In particular people have concerns about the quality of roads and cellular service. She added the federal NDP also is speaking to those issues.

“There’s also a northern infrastructure fund that the NDP is committed to,” said King.

In the race for the northern riding King is facing off against Conservative Party incumbent Gary Vidal and former Athabasca Saskatchewan NDP MLA Buckley Belanger who is running for the federal Liberals.

King said to compete against her two well known opponents she has been working to reach out to people, while taking precautions like masking and social distancing, King is also double vaccinated. Overall she said she is feeling good about her chances.

“I’ve been going door to door and I’ve been talking to quite a bit of people, I’ve been active within the communities and also getting stuff out via so social media, so I think I am making my presence known,” she said.

(Photo courtesy of Harmonie King campaign Facebook Page: King knocking on doors on the campaign trail)