Meili launches leadership bid

Ryan Meili speaks at the FSIN spring assembly on May 17, 2017 in Prince Albert. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Saskatoon-based MLA hoping to head provincial NDP

Ryan Meili wants to be the next leader of the provincial NDP.

The Saskatoon-based family doctor is making his third bid for party leadership, losing to Dwain Ligenfelter in 2009 and Cam Broten in 2013.

In March, Meili won the by-election for Saskatoon-Meewasin, which became vacant after the death of Roger Parent on Nov. 29, 2016.

The Moose Jaw-born politician wants to be the one to lead the NDP back to power and provide what he calls a “clear and credible alternative” to the ruling Saskatchewan Party.

Meili was in Prince Albert Wednesday to speak at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) spring assembly. He spoke about how his work as a doctor inspired him to get involved in politics.

He recounted attending a funeral for a woman who died from complications relating to HIV.

“She wasn’t sick with HIV,” he said. “She was sick with poverty. She was sick with not having had a chance to get a good education. She was sick with never having had access to good housing or good quality food, and she was sick with the effects of colonization, residential schools and marginalization.”

Meili referenced the World Health Organization definition of health: “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

He expanded on his comments in a Thursday interview.

For more, please see the May 19 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald