The past year marks the first full year for Carla Beck as the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP. When asked about the highlights for her of 2023, she said the year has been one of growth for the NDP, who are the Official Opposition in the provincial Legislature.  

“Certainly, ranking up there would be adding two new MLAs to our caucus, winning two of the three summer by-elections,” Beck said. “The continued opportunity to be around the province and talking to people about the things that matter to them, the willingness of people to talk about what their concerns are and some of their struggles, but also people’s willingness just to dig in and their want to be part of those solutions, whether that was in healthcare, or with education, or with business and the economy.” 

While there has been the party's growth, this has led to some challenges for Beck, but she called it a nice problem to have. 

“Trying to keep up with the number of people who are reaching in,” Beck stated. “Being able to take all of the calls, and all of the meetings, and go to all of the communities where we’re getting invitations. This is still building for our party right now and getting in place with the staff and getting in place the strong constituencies.” 

That work is ever important for the NDP, as an election approached in 2024. The NDP have sat as the official opposition since 2007, the longest span they have not held government in Saskatchewan since the creation of their predecessors, the CCF, in 1944.  

The work to prepare for the next electoral campaign has had Beck on many doorsteps over the past year, and she explained what she was told by those residents of the province what the biggest issues facing Saskatchewan in 2023 were.  

“The number one issue for people across the province by far, and we see this in polling, but we hear this from people on the doorstep, or whether we’re out filling up our car with gas or at the grocery store, the cost of living is the number one issue,” Beck said. “It’s an issue across the country, but more people in Saskatchewan than any other province report that this is their number one issue.” 

Another issue she has heard about has been healthcare. 

“Whether that is smaller communities where they’re struggling to keep their doctors and keep their local emergency room open, to our larger cities as well where even there, there’s been issues keeping emergency rooms open,” Beck emphasized. She added Saskatchewan is now also needing to send women to other provinces for diagnostic care for breast cancer.  

Once the Christmas and New Year celebrations are over, Beck said the NDP will return to work preparing for the 2024 election.  

“At the constituency level, we’ve got about half of our candidates nominated now,” she said. “We’ll continue to nominate candidates and we’ve got more and more people putting their names forward for candidacy.” 

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