Saskatoon lawyer enters NDP leadership race

Saskatoon lawyer Kaitlyn Harvey said Saskatchewan needs someone who will work hard to find solutions to the increasing number of challenges the province faces, and that’s why she’s running to lead the provincial NDP

Harvey, a Métis lawyer, community organizer and climate justice activist from Saskatoon, officially entered the race on Tuesday with a short speech in front of supporters.

“The status quo is unacceptable,” Harvey said. “We are running out of time to create a future Saskatchewan that we want our grandchildren to grow up in. We need everyone at the table to ensure all questions, concerns and ideas are heard, and no one gets left behind.”

Harvey ran for the NDP in Saskatoon Willowgrove last election, losing to Saskatchewan Party MLA Ken Cheveldayoff.

On Tuesday, she said a recent Prince Albert event is what inspired her to enter the leadership race. Her cousin Brendan Vermette died of an overdose at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in March.

Harvey said the province needs to do a better job of addressing issues like climate change, mental health, poverty, housing, and addictions. She said bringing high speed internet to rural and northern communities is a priority, as is providing youth with “opportunities, hope, and a vision” so they feel happy and safe.

“We need leadership that acknowledges these risks and is prepared to dig down to the root of these challenges, and who will work hard to help come up with solutions,” she said.

Harvey plans to spend the coming months touring the province to create a “Made in Saskatchewan” plan to address those challenges. She said her background in law, environmental research, advocacy, and community development would help her be the leader the NDP needs.

“Our party has long been about innovation for the betterment of all, based on collective voices and collaboration,” she said. “We can do it again if we commit to working together, and with a leader who is committed to finding fair and effective solutions.”

Harvey graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in Geography in 2013. She currently practices in the field of constitutional, environmental, and criminal law.

Regina Lakeview MLA Carla Beck is the only other candidate running for NDP leader. She launched her campaign on March 3.

The NDP leadership vote is scheduled for June in Regina.

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