Elected April 4, the whirlwind of activity began for Terry Dennis. A couple of days later, he was in Regina for his first caucus meeting as one of the 51 newly elected Saskatchewan Party MLAs.
It was the first orientation session and a chance to meet the other members of the team, said Dennis. Because there are more SP MLAs this time, more offices have to be allocated in the Legislature. There is also more staff being hired. The larger team means that it is taking more time to organize the MLAs.
Dennis said he expects that his office will be assigned when he returns for his next caucus meeting on April 20-21. It is also likely that the swearing-in ceremonies will be held at the same time.
Like the other MLAs, Dennis said he planned to spend the 10 days prior to the next caucus meeting back home, tidying up his affairs. It is a time to be used for the removal of the election signs and to set up a constituency office. A first step is hiring a constitutional assistant and he offered the position to Carol Sleeva, who had served in the same position for Ken Krawetz.
On a more personal basis, Dennis said that he had to cut ties with the day-to-day management of Dennis’ Foods, a business he has owned with his brother Gerald for 34 years. Gerald and “the girls” will be running it while attempts are made to sell the business.
Terry and Gerald bought the business from their father and uncle who had started it 47 years ago. The shishliki and the catering side of the grocery store business have been added in later years and the plan is to make them part of the overall sale package.
The store has been for sale for some time and there is some interest being expressed, said Dennis. However, if the store does not sell quickly, Dennis said it is not out of the realm of possibilities that he may be drawn into making a few batches of shishliki during periods when he is away from the Legislature. In the last decade or two, Terry’s Shishliki and the catering have been well-appreciated additions by the customer base.
He’s trying to put the store at the back of his mind as he concentrates on the job at hand. Serving through elected office has been something to which he dedicated much of his life and he is already finding that his new role is filling a recent void in his life. Elected to civic office for more than 20 years, he said it was hard to leave Canora politics a year ago when he resigned as mayor when his family moved to Crystal Lake. Now he will again be representing Canora, as well as the rest of the Canora-Pelly constituency.
Dennis said Krawetz, the former MLA, built such a strong foundation that he hopes it will be fairly easy to maintain contacts and continue to serve the region.
Dennis said he has nothing but respect for what Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party has begun in the first two terms in government. He is honoured, and perhaps a little overwhelmed at the prospect of doing his part working for Wall and sharing in the effort to keep Saskatchewan growing.
“It will be a phenomenal experience going to work for Brad Wall, who has earned the respect of most of the province.”
Going back to election night, Dennis said it was humbling to realize that he had won by such large numbers. So many people had stood up, lent a hand and gave their support to make that election happen. That level of support he never expected and that’s what made this overwhelming win so humbling. His goal is to earn that support and work for the entire constituency.
According to the election night numbers, Dennis received 4,249 votes or 67 per cent of the 11,014 votes. His nearest rival was Theresa Wilson of the NDP who received 1,297 votes.