A new name has been added to the ballot in the Lloydminster district for the upcoming provincial election.
Steve Gessner is the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan representative for the area. Gessner was born in Humboldt and grew up on a farm in the Battlefords. He spent three decades in the transportation industry and sold his business and semi-retired in Maidstone in 2017.
Since then, he has been working in the agriculture industry and construction with the R.M. of Wilton. Gessner threw his support behind the Buffalo Party and says it is distinct from the formerly named Wexit Party of Saskatchewan.
He says his previous career of long-distance trucking has given him insight into the effectiveness of certain policies and is dedicated to creating change.
“I have seen things that have worked well and things that don’t work well in all jurisdictions of this country and the U.S. I spent almost 30 years in the entire continent, so I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. I think I’ve got a good grasp of what we can do in this province to make all of our lives better.”
The Buffalo Party is focused on putting Saskatchewan first by getting a fair deal for residents. To achieve this, the party has included the abolishment of the National Transfer Payment program as part of their platform.
“We are adamant about removing that program. It is wrong and there is no reason why each and every one of these provinces can’t stand on their own two legs.”
“The way it’s calculated is very skewed. Quebec, as an example, does not put their natural resource revenue into the calculation and Saskatchewan does. Imagine if Saskatchewan does not put in the natural resource revenue into that calculation. What would that number be? Almost zero.”
On the agriculture front, Gessner says the party will be helping young farmers by making it easier for them to start their own farms through new policies and bring in legislation to change the corporate tax structure for small and medium sized businesses.
“In the agricultural world that pertains to finishing our product. Saskatchewan has so much raw product. We’re selling wheat instead of selling flour. We’re selling crude oil instead of selling diesel fuel. All of these things should be finished in our province and sold as finished product.”
Gessner says he won’t be expected to follow the party line and if elected he will advocate for constituents and their concerns in the Legislative Assembly.
“You are being elected by the people of your constituency. They come first. This came right from our top brass. People of this constituency will be hiring one of us to represent them and we have to, in my mind, look after their needs and wants first.”
Gessner will be ramping up his campaign in the coming days and says he will be travelling throughout the district to communities like Pierceland to talk to voters. He says they can also reach him through his email.
There are two more candidates running in the district of Lloydminster: Colleen Henning with the New Democratic Party and Colleen Young with the Saskatchewan Party. The election will be held on October 26th.