Longtime salon owner says business experience will help her if elected in Ward 8 by-election

Longtime business owner Pam Sukut is one of five candidates running in the Ward 8 By-election. -- Submitted photo.

A longtime business owner and educator is seeking her first term in public office in the Ward 8 By-Election.

Salon owner Pam Sukut said she’s always been interested in civic, provincial, and municipal politics, and she’s deciding to take the plunge and run for office.

“I’ve been a business person for a number of years, and I do believe it’s our civic duty to step forward at some point in your life,” Sukut said.

“I believe it’s our duty to be knowledgeable of where and what our taxpayers’ dollars are being spent on…. I pride myself on keeping my own house and business efficient in a visual manner and in turn, I expect all governments to do the same with my interests.”

Sukut’s business is located along 13th Street East, but she’s lived in the West Hill area for more than three decades. She has deep roots in the Prince Albert area. Her grandparents first settled in Paddockwood, and spent her formative years involved in farming and business.

In addition to owning her salon, Sukut and her husband own rental properties in Prince Albert. She also helps train Saskatchewan Polytechnic students aiming for their certification in cosmetology, and recently assisted a newcomer from Ukraine get her salon business up and running.

“I’ve helped a lot of people come through the doors to establish themselves as stylists and then go on to be salon owners and go on to be successful in their life,” Sukut said. “I feel that I can contribute and maybe do the same for the City.”

Sukut identified mental health and addictions as the two biggest challenges facing Prince Albert. She said it was something she saw and heard about regularly when she served on the Quality Advisory Board for Mental Health and Addictions at Victoria Hospital.

Sukut said Prince Albert has plenty of willing and dedicated organizations addressing both problems, but there needs to be more collaboration. She wants City Hall to be a driving force in getting those organizations working together.

“In order for us to have a safe, healthy, and affordable community, we need to get a hold of this large, complex problem,” she said. “In talking with people I know, we have plenty of organizations, but we need to collaborate more to tackle this.”

Sukut criticized the City’s decision to put up barriers around buildings or pieces of infrastructure in the Midtown area. She said those barriers aren’t the answer to the City’s mental health, addictions, and homelessness problems.

Sukut said property tax rates, the Carbon Tax, and snow removal were other issues she’s hearing plenty of concerns about. She said some of those problems are provincial or federal issues, but it still affects the city.

The Carbon Tax in particular, she said, is a problem for seniors, single moms, and low-income wage earners.

“We all know there’s revenue sharing that comes into our city, but I think at this time, when people are having a hard time just feeding their family, some of those areas are causing big grief for people,” she said.

In addition to her role as a business owner, Sukut has been involved as a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society. She was also one of the first Samuel McLeod Business Award nominees for small business job creation.

Sukut is one of five candidates running to replace Ted Zurakowski in Ward 8. The others are Doug Erickson, Peter Friedrichsen, Dennis Nowoselsky, and Darren Solomon. The by-election is scheduled for May 31.