Martin Ring is hoping to return to politics.
The former city councillor is the third person to announce intentions to seek the Saskatchewan Party nomination for the Prince Albert Northcote riding. Former Prince Albert Northcote MLA Victoria Jurgens and former riding president Alana Ross had previously announced that their names would be on the ballot at the June 10 nomination meeting.
Ring, who served for a city councillor for ten years before an unsuccessful mayoral bid, said his decision to run was thanks to, in part, others encouraging him to take on the challenge.
“Several people from the constituency expressed interest in myself possibly running for the Sask. Party in the riding of Northcote. Some other people from within the community itself but outside the riding did as well,” he said.
Prior to political life, Ring worked as a manager at Canada Post, where he dealt with labour management issues. He’s also been involved with several not-for-profits. He highlighted his current work on the Mont St. Joseph Home operational board and on the Spark Theatre board as two examples. He also has spent time as the colour commentator on Prince Albert Raiders radio broadcasts.
Northcote, he said, is a diverse riding.
‘We’ve got parts of West Hill in there, and the West Flat, East Flat and Midtown area. You’ve got a really strong retail connection — it’s the heart of our community when it comes to the retail sector.”
Ring said that one of the biggest issues facing the area is that of poverty, which in his mind, can be alleviated by focusing on economic development.
“One way to break people out of poverty is to get them work,” he said.
“Work is what’s going to pay some of the bills. That is one of the major things for the riding. For the community as a whole, health care is at the forefront. There is a lot of talk with regards to a new hospital. I think we’re getting a lot closer and I want … to make sure that our government continues that focus.”
The other main issue facing the area, Ring said, is senior care.
“There are a lot of seniors who live in the riding. I think we’ve got some big changes on the horizon for senior care and we have to keep focused on it.”
Ring pointed to his work with Mont St. Joseph Home as informing some of his thoughts about health care and senior care.
“That’s where I’m getting a little more in-depth with changes happening or that will have to happen with senior health care moving forward,” he said.
While each of the candidates has put forward a strong case to be the next Saskatchewan Party nominee for the Northcote constituency, Ring said it’s his experience as a city councillor that sets him apart.
“No disrespect to either of them, but I come with ten years of experience as a city councillor,” he said.
“As a city councillor, you come from a ward within the city, but I always took on my responsibility when I was on council for the betterment of the entire city. Yes, the riding is the main focus, but it’s also going to be the betterment of the entire community, and because it’s provincial, you also have to keep in mind where the province is going as well.”
With his municipal experience and time spent serving on boards, Ring said he has “diverse experience.”
One thing Ring wanted to emphasize was that he doesn’t see the fact that he doesn’t currently live in the riding as a big issue.
“There has been some focus with regards to me no living in the riding itself, but I am born and raised here in the City of Prince Albert, and with the then years on city council. I’m very much aware of issues across the city, not just within the particular area that I live in,” he said.
“I dealt with a number of issues from all parts of the city when I was a member of city council. I am very much aware of what is going on.”
The nomination meeting is set for June 10 at the Prince Albert Exhibition’s East-West Room. Registration is 4:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Only Saskatchewan Party members can vote.
The winner of the nomination vote will go up against incumbent MLA Nicole Rancourt in the 2020 provincial election.