Saskatchewan's two main political leaders criticized each other's track records Friday as they urged people to vote in the home stretch of the provincial campaign.
Election day in Saskatchewan is on Monday.
Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe was surrounded by honking vehicles at an outdoor rally in Saskatoon where he said his incumbent party has the experience to guide the province through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Do we go forward into a bright promising prosperous future? Or do we go back to the dark days of the NDP,” Moe said.
Moe repeated several campaign promises at the rally, including his party’s plan to have a balanced budget by 2024.
Since the Saskatchewan Party ousted the NDP from power in 2007, Moe said, it has stood against the federal carbon tax and pushed for oil pipelines.
“Our record is one of building: building hospitals, building schools, building highways, building a strong economy and a stronger Saskatchewan."
He criticized the New Democrats for how the party handled teachers, job creation and health care when it was in government.
At a campaign stop in Regina, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said people can’t trust Moe to make the right investments as the province grapples with the effects of the pandemic.
Meili said the Saskatchewan Party has a history of laying off health-care workers and pointed to its unpopular austerity budget in 2017 under former premier Brad Wall.
Meili warned Moe’s plan would mirror that.
“The Sask. Party is old, tired, out of ideas and they only have one playbook,” he said.
“Mark my words, if the Sask. Party is re-elected, the cuts and privatization this time around will make 2017 look like a walk in the park.”
Meili repeated his party's plan to fix understaffing in health care and shrink classroom sizes, among other promises.
The leaders had other campaign stops throughout the day, including another outdoor vehicle rally with Meili in Regina.
Saturday is the last day advanced polls are open in Saskatchewan.
Meili and Moe both said it has been a very different to campaign during the pandemic but that they were optimistic about the number of people who have already voted.
“We didn’t know what to make of a campaign during COVID-19, what would that be like,” Meili said. “I’ve been really impressed.”
Elections Saskatchewan has said more than 43,000 people cast ballots Wednesday -- the most in a single day of advance voting in a provincial election.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.
Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press