Saskatchewan Party to focus on cities headed into next provincial election: premier

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says cities will be a focus as his party heads into next year's provincial election.

The 2020 campaign was the focus of the two-day Saskatchewan Party convention held at Evraz Place in Regina.

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Saturday marked the official unveiling of the party's branding that carries the message of "Strong leadership" under Moe.

In a speech to party faithful — the first delivered since becoming leader in January 2018 — Moe said he has been asked how the party is going to win in Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.

The Saskatchewan NDP have won the last three urban byelections.

Moe said that his party will focus its efforts to ensure they are "on the on the doorsteps listening to people."

"That would be our room for growth," Moe said when asked by reporters why urban seats will be a priority.

Besides seats in Saskatoon and Regina, he said they will be paying attention to ridings in Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.

Following his speech, Moe spoke about a strike that began Friday by around 5,000 workers at six Crown corporations and one Crown agency.

Unifor is seeking wage increases of two per cent in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and has said the key issue is the government's demand for wage freezes.

Moe said the offer on the table is "fair", which is a five per cent increase over five years, with the raises starting after the first two years.

He said he's hopeful to return the bargaining table shortly.

Next week, Moe and a small team of officials will depart for Japan and Korea for a trade mission.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias says he believes Moe is responsible for the impasse and questions the message it sends to workers that he's leaving the province.

Dias says Moe should be trying to get people back to work.

"It's pretty tough to do when you're sitting in Korea," Dias said.

Moe said there are ministers and bargaining committee members that can deal directly with the labour issue, adding effort has gone into planning the trip.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2019.

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