HUMBOLDT-WATROUS — If elected as the MLA for Humboldt-Watrous, Wendy Sekulich wants to stand up for the people of the constituency.
“I have a strong passion for politics and I'm a big advocate for people,” she said. “I spent 31 years in education advocating for young people.”
She taught for 31 years in northern Saskatchewan and in and around Saskatoon. She retired last June. She now farms and ranches with her husband near Kenaston. She said she’s a proud Métis woman who is also a wife, a mother and a grandmother.
Sekulich was acclaimed as the New Democratic Party candidate for Humboldt-Watrous at an online nomination meeting on Sept. 15.
It was the NDP’s people first philosophy that spurred Sekulich to run for them in the Monday, Oct. 26 provincial election, she said.
“Throughout my life and career, I've often found myself needing to be a voice for many people,” she said.
Sekulich said she’s concerned about healthcare in the province, pointing at the temporary closure of 12 emergency departments across the province, including Davidson and Lanigan. She herself had to travel to Saskatoon when it became necessary for her to visit the emergency room.
Her experience with the long-term care system also has Sekulich concerned. She told the story about securing long-term care for her father.
“He ended up with dementia and needed to be put into long term care and we had him in private care for the longest time. They had no support for him because he didn't meet a certain criteria.”
So Sekulich ended up fighting the assessment, going all of the way to the minister’s office before a reassessment qualities her father to go into a government run long-term care home.
Once that happened, Sekulich's efforts went towards ensuring her father was placed nearby. Officials would call her saying that they had a space for her mom (she was gone for five years) and that they had a room for her father that would accommodate a wheelchair (he doesn’t use one).
“It's lost that personal touch, the personal care, the personalization of it, and putting people ahead, seeing people as people,” she said.
“That got me geared back into my belief that we need voices in this province that are going to stand up for people who lose theirs.”
The NDP has been calling for a long term care system with legislated minimum care standards and more public options.
Sekulich also expressed other concerns, like access to transportation ever since the Saskatchewan Transportation Company was closed down, the lack of access to stable internet in rural areas of the province, and getting access to childcare during the pandemic.
“Those are a couple of the frustrations that I had with the government, and my beliefs, and that’s why I'm willing to put my name forward and willing to go to bat and support people in Saskatchewan. My goal is to be a strong voice, a good representative.”
The NDP has promised to reestablish the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, use the province’s crown corporations to expand high speed internet in rural areas, and establish a $25-a-day child care system.
Cathy Sproule, the NDP MLA for Saskatoon Nutana, also spoke at the nomination meeting, where she said she was glad that Sekulich decided to step up to the plate.
“We are doing really well in terms of campaign preparation. There's a platform that is coming together really well. We've seen a few announcements already.”
Announcements have included investing in geothermal energy, repealing the province’s private MRI legislation and a $100 rebate for SGI policyholders.
Sekulich will be running against Donna Harpauer of the Saskatchewan Party and Constance Maffenbeier of the Buffalo Party. The last New Democrat to represent Humboldt was Eric Upshall, who was MLA 1986 and 1995.