The MLA for Lumsden-Morse, Blaine McLeod, held the grand opening of his constituency office on Saturday at 200 – 99 Diefenbaker Drive.
The building is shared with other businesses, as well as the MLA for Moose Jaw North, Tim McLeod.
Blaine McLeod was voted into the position via a provincial byelection on August 10th , taking over for Lyle Stewart, who stepped down from the position in March due to health concerns.
McLeod says that he’s enjoying the new space so far. “To know that I have this spot to come and collect thoughts and meet people and just plan for the days and weeks ahead is really awesome.”
“Having it so accessible, as well, right off the highway for folks. It’s really very centrally located in the community and in the constituency of Lumsden-Morse. It’s about as central as you could get.”
The office is open for constituents to drop by Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jacqui Stephens is the constituency administrator for Tim McLeod, and is mentoring Blaine McLeod’s constituency administrators, Brandy Magnus (lead) and Kelly Hinderager.
“Our hope with the grand opening is that it becomes the focal point of the constituency, where people know that they can come and meet on a regular basis if there are issues or concerns – or just to drop in and invite us to whatever event they’re happening to have.”
Magnus and Hinderager are on hand to put constituents in touch with relevant agencies and ministries and manage McLeod’s calendar. They are also available to help constituents fill out forms, such as those required for the drought relief program for livestock producers.
McLeod says he’s been busy engaging with constituents since coming to office in August, attending events including the Scarecrow Festival in Lumsden, a number of fall suppers, and a sod-turning ceremony in Stewart Valley where a new school will be built. The previous school burned down in August 2022.
“It was really great to be able to celebrate with them, as they know their school K-8 is coming back and will keep their community viable – schools are such an important part of a community,” said McLeod.
He attended a caucus retreat and met with other Saskatchewan Party members several days after coming to office, was present at the special session in October when school pronoun policy legislation was discussed, and he has been attending regular sessions at the legislature.
McLeod lives in Caron, and typically travels home every night after regular sessions let out Monday through Thursday.
He says that plenty has been happening since he took office. “Likely busier than I anticipated, but I’m enjoying it immensely, and I just hope I can be of assistance to this constituency of Lumsden-Morse, and people know that they have a voice and a response that will come to them.”
His focus involves bringing forward issues concerning economic impacts and cost of living, maintaining infrastructure, and education.
“We’ve got a situation right now where our teachers are looking for a new contract, and we need to make sure that we’re meeting their needs – in an appropriate manner, but in an affordable manner as well, that’s sustainable for the province and the economy. It’s not an easy thing to balance all the financial demands that come on a government, and we need to do that responsibly, making sure that we don’t leave deficits for the next generation and the generation after that.”
He wants to encourage constituents to come by the office.
“Come and see us! We really want this office to gain a sense of the focal point for the constituency as to where they can come for any concerns or even information that they need to learn.”
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