(Photo by Christopher Borshowa)
A Weyburn candidate, Regan Lanning, has stepped forward to run for the New Democratic Party in the upcoming provincial election, to run against the incumbent MLA, Dustin Duncan of the Saskatchewan Party.
“I felt it was important to have a local resident running for the NDP who’s in touch with local concerns and what life is actually like here for Weyburn residents,” said Lanning, noting this is her first foray into politics.
“Democracy is a passion of mine,” she said, noting she has done door-to-door enumerations before as well as working at polling stations in past elections.
Well-known in the city and area as the curator for the Weyburn Arts Council, Lanning is a wife and mother of two, and put forward concerns about education and health as her top two issues in this election.
In regard to education, she said she has concerns about cuts to schools and in particular the return to school plans.
“I had a lot of concerns about the Sask Party’s back to school plans. It didn’t seem particularly well-laid out,” she said, noting they had time to do research and consult medical professionals and teachers about the best way for schools to resume after being closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ryan Meili came out with an amazing plan where they contacted medical professionals and teachers, and they submitted the plan to the Saskatchewan, and it wasn’t even really considered,” said Lanning. “A pandemic shouldn’t be political. We need all of our leaders working together.”
Her other main concern is health care, and in particular the mass exodus of family doctors from Weyburn.
“I lost my doctor. I have a new doctor now, but he’s busy and doesn’t know me like my doctor did,” she said. “I’m excited about a new hospital being built, but it was a long drawn-out process to get that, and when our new hospital is built, what are we going to do if we have no doctors?”
Lanning hopes that a new facility will attract more doctors, but is concerned about why there are doctors leaving here.
“I think there’s something going on in Weyburn. What is happening in Weyburn? What’s happening with the health care system here? We haven’t had a maternity ward for at least 13 years now. That is ridiculous. Why don’t we have a maternity ward here? Smaller communities are capable of having babies born at their hospital, why isn’t Weyburn? Our medical care is in dire straits. How many Weyburn residents are without a doctor right now. It’s scary, especially during a pandemic,” said Lanning.
The cutting of the STC bus service is another concern she has, and commented, “I’m all for austerity, but there has to be a balance. We can’t keep cutting services in our communities.”
She said she’s always been a political person, and felt it was important that there is a local candidate running for the provincial election who knows what the local concerns are.
With the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said she is available by email or phone, and can come meet people on their doorsteps if they would like to talk about any issues or concerns. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org