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Thursday, 02 November 2017 07:03

Nomination candidate sets out priorities for the next Swift Current MLA

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Derek Robinson wants to let Swift Current residents know how he will approach the job as their elected representative if his bid to become their MLA is successful.

He is currently one of two candidates seeking the nomination of the Saskatchewan Party for a future by-election to elect a new MLA for Swift Current. The by-election will be necessary due to the decision by Premier Brad Wall to retire from politics in January.
Robinson spoke about three priorities for the next MLA during a meeting in Swift Current, Oct. 28.
“It’s just at the core of how I would approach the job,” he said afterwards. “Right now there’s not too specific a policy in there, but I wanted to provide people with some sort of a mindset of how I would go into the job and how I would approach things.”
He believes the MLA should focus on partnerships to build relationships and to listen to the needs of various stakeholders in the community, including local authorities, the business community, non-profit organization, education and health representatives, and the growing immigrant community. The MLA should act as an equal partner to address their concerns and to identify opportunities.
“So whatever issue it is, you have to always approach it in that way that it’s not actually about me,” he said. “It’s about serving other people and how I can serve them. So you put someone’s needs ahead of your own needs.”
His second priority is to focus on solutions. He believes a MLA should think about what is possible instead of what cannot be done. He noted that there is often a negative mindset in government when it comes to the consideration of issues, and only a focus on what government cannot do.
Robinson has worked in government for almost six years. He is currently the executive director of digital strategy in Executive Council and the Premier’s office in Regina.
“I've learned that you have to always have a mindset focused on solutions, because in government a lot of the times they’re so busy,” he said. “There’s so much coming at them, that you have to make it easy for the decision makers a lot of time to help you. ... You have to do it yourself first and then you bring it to them and if you’ve got a solution laid out already, then you’re much more likely to get a better result for whatever you’re there to pursue.”
He believes the third priority for a MLA is to think big, which he wants to do to keep Swift Current growing. He is convinced that Swift Current can be a world-leading hub for value-added agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, renewable power, and culture.
“Those things are very, very doable in Swift Current and I would like to see Swift Current really step into its potential,” he said. “I think Swift Current has the heart of a small city, but it increasingly has people here that think big and I want to be part of that. I want to advocate for that and really showcase Swift Current for the great community that it is.”
There are currently only two candidates in this nomination race. The other candidate is Everett Hindley, who is Premier Wall's executive assistant. The Saskatchewan Party will have a nomination meeting in Swift Current on Dec. 11.
Robinson feels upbeat about his campaign to seek the support of Saskatchewan Party members in Swift Current in the run-up to the nomination meeting.
“It’s going very, very well,” he said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amazing support that I’ve received and so I’m cautiously optimistic for the campaign and I’m enjoying every moment of it. It’s really a lot of fun connecting with people.”

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Matthew Liebenberg