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Four Moe Years: Scott Moe and Saskatchewan Party defeat NDP for 4th straight majority

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SASKATOON — The Saskatchewan Party under leader Scott Moe has won its fourth consecutive majority by overwhelming the NDP in a provincial election defined by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Moe’s party was elected or leading in more than 40 seats in early returns Monday, needing 31 to win a majority government in the 61-seat legislature. 

There was a chance that final results in some close races might not be immediately known as more than 61,000 mail-in ballots were requested. 

Moe, 47, running in his first election as premier, was re-elected in his riding of Rosthern-Shellbrook while NDP Leader Ryan Meili was in a fight to retain his Saskatoon Meewasin seat. 

Most of Moe’s 17 cabinet ministers also held onto their seats.

Meili, a 45-year-old medical doctor, is trying to arrest a dubious trend. The last two NDP leaders, Dwain Lingenfelter in 2011 and Cam Broten in 2016, lost their seats in the general election. 

It is the third provincial election held during the COVID-19 pandemic and the third to see the incumbent party triumph. Last month, Premier Blaine Higgs and the Progressive Conservatives in New Brunswick went from a minority to a majority government. John Horgan’s NDP did the same in British Columbia on Saturday.   

At dissolution, the Saskatchewan Party held 46 seats to 13 for the NDP. There were two vacancies.  

The pandemic shaped not only the central ballot question, but how people would cast their ballots. Voters were asked to wear masks at polling stations. More than 185,000 ballots were cast in five days of advance polls. Election night events Monday were held under distancing guidelines.  

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise. Earlier this month, the province halved to 15 the number of people allowed together at events in private households.  

The campaign centred on starkly contrasting blueprints for how to steer the province, its economy, and its $2.1-billion deficit through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.   

Meili promised millions of dollars in increased spending for classrooms and to reduce health-care wait times, along with a $15-an-hour minimum wage and $25-a-day daycare. The NDP wouldn’t promise a balanced budget in its first term and warned that the Saskatchewan Party would try to cut its way to economic better times.   

Moe promised to balance the books by 2024 while keeping the economy going and creating jobs through tax and rebate incentives.  

The Saskatchewan Party has been in power since 2007 — currently the longest governing party in Canada — and is knocking on the door of historic political dominance.   

The last party to lead Saskatchewan in a fourth term was the NDP in 2007, although it needed coalition help in 1999 to do so.  

The record for dominance still resides with Tommy Douglas and the CCF, which held five majority governments in the middle of the last century.   

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020    

 

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press




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Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, has died. He was 60.

The office of Argentina’s president will decree three days of national mourning because of Maradona’s death on Wednesday, and the Argentine soccer association expressed its sorrow on Twitter.

Maradona died two weeks after being released from a Buenos Aires hospital following brain surgery.

Famed for the “Hand of God” goal in which he punched the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals, Maradona captivated fans over a two-decade career with a bewitching style of play that was all his own.

Although his reputation was tarnished by his addictions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolized in soccer-mad Argentina as the “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”

The No. 10 he wore on his jersey became synonymous with him, as it also had with Pele, the Brazilian great with whom Maradona was regularly paired as the best of all time.

Debora Rey, The Associated Press

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CP NewsAlert: Sasakamoose, Indigenous NHLer, dies at 86 after presumed COVID-19 case

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Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous players in the NHL, has died after battling a presumed case of COVID-19.

He was 86.

Fred’s son, Neil, announced his death on Tuesday in a video posted on Facebook.

More coming.

The Canadian Press

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