Colleen Henning believes Lloydminster residents are being underserved by the current provincial government and she will be an active voice for them in the legislature.
The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party has named Henning as their candidate for the riding of Lloydminster for the upcoming fall election. She was nominated by the provincial party Tuesday evening via a Zoom meeting and was the lone declared nominee.
Born in Lloydminster, Henning has spent 48 years living in the city as well as in the rural areas surrounding the city. She is currently a teacher at Holy Rosary High School as well as the school division, but has experience as an accountant and in human services.
She was also the treasurer for the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition which runs the Men’s Shelter. She says her diverse background helps her understand the people in the constituency and the issues they face.
Henning says the world is changing and Lloydminster needs to find a new place for its products and resources. She says the Sask. Party represents the status quo and more needs to be done those struggling in the current economic condition.
“Times have been tough in Lloydminster for a while and I’ve seen tough times come and go in Lloydminster. This is my town, my city and I think we need more than that and the NDP wants to offer that not just for Lloydminster, but for all of Saskatchewan.”
She says she has three major focuses which are mental health and addictions services, roads and internet/cellphone service. Henning says the COVID-19 pandemic has exemplified the need for better internet and cellphone service for both residents in the city as well as those living in rural areas.
“How can you run a business or how can you look for jobs if you don’t have cellphone or internet service? If you want to have internet services in some places in Saskatchewan then it’s very costly. It doesn’t meet the needs of running a business or Zoom meetings.”
She says poorly maintained roads, especially in the northern parts of the constituency, is another factor that hampers residents in running businesses and finding jobs. Henning also says the closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company is another factor that has made it harder for some residents to get work.
“The Saskatchewan Party has been in power for a while and I don’t feel it’s been beneficial for many people. Some people yes, but other people not so much and especially Lloydminster in particular.”
Henning also criticizes the provincial government’s decision to turn down the Saskatchewan Strategy for Suicide Prevention Act in June. The bill would require the government to put in place a strategy that recognizes suicide as not only a mental health issue, but a public health issue as well. She says the government needs to provide more tools for those seeking mental health help.
NDP leader Ryan Meili says Henning’s experience with the Saskatchewan school system will be valuable as schools across the province adapt to COVID-19 guidelines.
Over the coming months, Henning says she will be reaching out to constituents through phone calls as well as meeting face-to-face, if the provincial health guidelines allow it.
Henning is running against incumbent MLA Colleen Young, who represents the Saskatchewan Party. The provincial election is scheduled for November 2nd.