Newly elected Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe starts work on fall session

REGINA — Scott Moe is back in the Saskatchewan premier's office and plans to recall the legislature, although some Saskatchewan Party candidates are still waiting to see if they will be joining him.

On Monday night, Moe earned a fourth consecutive majority government for the long-reigning centre-right party, as well as his first public mandate as premier.

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"We for sure are going to make every effort to be a government for all of the people in the province, and that includes all parts of the political spectrum," Moe told a news conference Tuesday.

Elections Saskatchewan shows the Sask. party won or is leading in 50 of the legislature's 61 seats. The NDP is projected to have 11 seats and will form the Opposition.

The results so far come from more than 385,000 ballots counted election night.

Officials are to start Wednesday counting more than 40,000 mail-in ballots. The elections agency says it will begin tallying the results in constituencies with tight races.

One of those is Saskatoon Meewasin, the seat NDP Leader Ryan Meili is hoping to keep. He was trailing Saskatchewan Party candidate Rylund Hunter by 83 votes. And about 1,600 mail-in ballots were issued in the constituency.

"There are still thousands of ballots to be counted tomorrow. We are hopeful that we will be returning to the legislature with a few more new faces once all the votes are in," Meili said on Twitter Tuesday.

"I have so much hope for the future of our party and for our province."

Election officials say the counting of mail-in ballots could see some seats flip. However, results could change again once a final count is done the week after the last mail-in ballots arrive.

"It's important to remember that if a race remains tight after the second preliminary count, we won't know for certain whether they remain in play until just before the final count, when the additional ballots to count have been received," said Michael Boda, chief electoral officer at Elections Saskatchewan.

Moe said he had spoken with his candidates who are still waiting for results of their races.

His government's first order of business will be introducing the home renovation tax credit promised in the campaign, he said.

In the meantime, he plans to meet with caucus members, appoint a new cabinet and outline a legislative agenda for a fall session.

Moe said he also intends to apologize to the family of the woman killed in a 1997 highway collision he caused when he was a young man.

Jo-Anne Balog's sons came forward publicly for the first time while Moe was campaigning and said they don't feel that Moe has been properly held to account for the accident.

After the crash, Moe was fined $220 for driving without due care and attention.

When asked by reporters about the sons' comments, Moe apologized and said he planned to apologize directly to them after the election.

"This is something that is very, very personal to me," Moe said Tuesday. "I will be reaching out and it will be from my perspective, a private conversation."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020

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