Former MLA Nicole Rancourt eager to win spot back in Sask. legislature

Nicole Rancourt is the NDP’s candidate for Prince Albert Northcote in the next provincial election. She was the Northcote MLA between 2016 and 2020. – Herald file photo

A former MLA is hoping to take back her seat in the legislature.

Nicole Rancourt represented Prince Albert Northcote from 2016 to 2020, trailing behind the current MLA Alana Ross in the last provincial election by a mere 195 votes.

Earlier this month, she was nominated as the NDP candidate for the Northcote constituency in the 2024 election.

“Even throughout the years before I got nominated, I’ve still been really active in the community and making sure people know that they can talk to me if they have any issues,” she said.

“We’re definitely going to make sure that we have a good platform going ahead so that we can show them that an NDP government will address those needs.”

Rancourt is the acting chief of mental health at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary.

She’s also a volunteer for several community organizations, such as the Prince Albert Historical Society, Parkland Restorative Justice and the Heart of the Youth Community Pow Wow.

In March, she was inducted to the Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame.

Rancourt feels residents will be comforted knowing a familiar face is in the running.

“If they put their support behind me, they have a voice that they are familiar with and they can trust that we’ll advocate for them.”

In the past few years, Rancourt said future voters have brought forward concerns about health care, homelessness and crime.

In addition to long wait times and a lack of hospital beds, she said many are concerned about a hole in youth mental health services for the north.

For the past several years, the health authority has had to pause inpatient services for youth mental health care at the Victoria Hospital as it’s searched for child psychiatrists.

Similarly, Rancourt said residents are worried about lengthy wait times to get into addictions treatment centres.

“Homelessness is a big concern in Prince Albert. We’ve seen an increase of that and everybody has been indicating that that’s an issue for them. Regardless of their socio-economic stature, they notice that Prince Albert’s struggling in regards to having housing,” she said.

Rancourt added that residents want to see rising crime rates addressed at its core – which means focusing on these issues of housing, mental health and addictions.

“We need to address it the way that we’re dealing with the systematic issues,” she said.

In a news release, NDP leader Carla Beck said she’s glad to see Rancourt as the Northcote candidate.

“I got the opportunity to see first-hand what a dedicated MLA Nicole Rancourt was for PA Northcote. I’m so excited to get to work with her again.”

Rancourt said she’s been attending community events prior to ramping up her campaign efforts this summer and fall.

“It’s really good to be back in the political realm,” she said.

The next provincial election is scheduled for October 2024.

This upcoming September, there will be a contested NDP nomination for Prince Albert Carlton between Troy Parenteau and Carolyn Brost Strom.