MP Erin Weir’s Statement on Election 2019
May 21st, 2019
The following statement is from Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir:
I have been a New Democrat my entire life. Since I was nominated in 2014 as the NDP candidate in Regina–Lewvan, my focus has been on ensuring progressive federal representation for Saskatchewan. Thanks to hundreds of local volunteers and donors who pressed on even after the 2015 national NDP campaign collapsed, I was elected as one of the first New Democratic MPs from our province in more than a decade.
It made me proud to be the first MP in this Parliament to call for border adjustments to carbon pricing, VIA Rail service to Regina, federal funding to restore bus service in Saskatchewan, a federal role in keeping SaskTel public, a federal investigation of the Regina Bypass, and federal assistance to canola farmers when China closed its market.
I frequently advocated for using Regina-made steel in the Trans Mountain pipeline and other public infrastructure projects. As the only western Canadian MP to serve on this Parliament’s All-Party Steel Caucus, I went to Washington to help push for our exemption from American tariffs.
In Regina, I have kept in contact with constituents by knocking on thousands of doors every summer, attending community events, mailing out regular updates and advertising locally. My staff and volunteers organized dozens of BBQs, skating parties and townhall meetings.
The best chance to maintain progressive representation for our constituency would be to build upon this work. Despite some disagreements with the federal NDP leadership, I have made clear my willingness to keep working as an NDP candidate this year to ensure that Regina continues to have a social democratic voice in Ottawa.
Sixty-eight former federal MPs and provincial MLAs have written asking the federal NDP leader to reconsider arbitrarily expelling me from caucus. Thousands of Saskatchewan people have signed a petition calling for an appeal of his unusual investigation of me. The Regina–Lewvan NDP’s 2019 annual meeting passed a motion to allow me to run in a democratic nomination. Rather than taking a second look at a deeply flawed process or letting party members decide, the federal NDP leader seems willing to hand our constituency to the Conservatives.
Leaders of other political parties, several fellow MPs and many local NDP activists have invited me to run for other parties or as an independent. However, I remain a lifetime New Democrat committed to the same social democratic principles that have motivated my involvement in the NDP over the past twenty years.
My candidacy under another banner this year would not help to maintain progressive representation for Regina in Ottawa. Because the federal leader continues to veto my candidacy for the NDP, I will not run in the upcoming federal election.
I wish Regina New Democrats, and whoever the federal leader may approve as an NDP candidate, well in the upcoming campaign. I hope that local activists will again succeed in electing a progressive MP and am proud to be leaving our constituency association in a strong position to do so.
Since I was first nominated in 2014, our membership and credit union account have more than doubled. Today, with 2,500 members and $100,000, the Regina–Lewvan NDP is among the largest and best funded NDP riding associations in Canada. Whoever runs here will start with advantages available to few other federal NDP candidates.
Support from family, friends, staff and others across Canada through difficult times has meant so much to me. I particularly appreciate all the former elected officials, national commentators and grassroots activists who spoke up for due process, common sense and local democracy.
Serving in Parliament is the greatest honour of my life. I thank voters for entrusting me with this enormous privilege and will continue doing my best to serve the people of Regina.