The SEIU-West Political Action & Awareness Committee (PAAC) followed the lead of the Saskatoon & District Labour Council (SDLC) and the Regina & District Labour Council (RDLC) and sent a series of questions to Swift Current municipal election candidates. While some did not respond, below are the candidates' who did respond favourably to the PAAC's questions:

Mayoral Candidates:

Al Bridal

  •  He understands minimum wage is not a living wage. He supports increasing minimum wage; as a business owner he has no one working for him that makes less than $16/hour.
  • Hopes the province doesn’t do any more public-private partnerships (P3s) as they are not the solution, they just add to the problem. If he became mayor he would never support the city’s involvement in a P3.
  • As a city we could encourage the college to maintain and grow their current partnership with the SHA for training CCAs.
  • Was a member of IBEW for 20 years. Believes there is a place for unions as not all businesses treat their employees with respect.
  • While serving on city council and the school board he was a member of the employer management team. He said he believes a union contract negotiation is a process of give and take and that he acted respectfully in both contract negotiation.

City Council Candidates:

Wayne Cormier

  • Agrees that minimum wage is below the poverty level. We need a living wage that starts with at least $15/hour. As a small business owner he starts staff at $17/hour
  • Says the problem we face in Saskatchewan is the government believes if they decrease taxes to big companies the companies will then in turn support the workers. Trickle-down economics do not work.
  • As a city councilor he will advocate for increased wages.
  • When discussing unions, Wayne is absolutely in support of unions. He was a member of CUPE and a member of SGEU as a front-line social worker.
  • Says the Essential Services language was a nasty piece of legislation.
  • Wayne is not in favour of P3s. He said it is the government’s quick fix to a long term problem.
  • The city should work with surrounding communities to create an advocacy group to advocate on behalf of the Chinook School Division. There needs to be more support for teachers and staff.

Chris Garner

  • Supporter of the Fight for 15. He said minimum wage definitely needs to go up.
  • P3s: He said he doesn’t have much knowledge on how P3s are in healthcare, however in the education sector they have caused several issues with maintenance in schools. He is not a fan of the P3 model and does not think the government should be using it.
  • Says the community and city needs to become more involved with Great Plains College to help expand programs.
  • On health care Chris said the current funding needs to be increased so the healthcare authority can hire and keep healthcare workers in our city and province. The city needs to build a strong partnership with SHA and our local MLA to lobby for healthcare worker’s needs.
  • Chris is very much in support of unions. Every job he has had since high school has been unionized. He is currently a member of Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF).

Courtney Stewart

  • Is familiar with the Fight for 15 in Saskatchewan and sees the need for a $15 minimum wage.
  • She is not in favour of the P3s. She said in the long run they end up costing more.
  • She believes a way the city can help lower income workers is to expand the Active Play program from 6 weeks/school to the full school year. Many workers can’t afford after school care as the cost is more than they make per hour.
  • The city needs to lean on the relationship with Everet Hindley (local MLA) and use our voice as a city to encourage support to the education sector.
  • Courtney supports unionized workers 110%. One of the three pillars of Courtney’s campaign is equality. 

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