Meet the Leaders: Robert Rudachyk, Saskatchewan Liberal Party
REGINA -- Saskatchewan Liberal Party Leader and Saskatoon Westview MLA candidate Robert Rudachyk hopes to bring a fair, strong voice to the Legislature “that will hold the current government to account”.
CTV News Regina Anchor and Video Journalist Taylor Rattray spoke with Rudachyk ahead of the Oct. 26 election date to hear his party’s platform and his perspectives on the issues facing Saskatchewan today.
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Below is a partial transcript of the interview edited for clarity and conciseness with the full interview available here and at the top of the page.
CTV News: You were a candidate in the 2016 provincial election for the Liberal Party, then you were named the leader just before this election was called, what should people know about you?
Rudachyk: For one thing, I’m someone who really believes very strongly in this province. I see so much potential being wasted, I see so many opportunities that we are not taking advantage of. To me, that’s just unconscionable.
I see so many people getting left behind and I want to bring a fair voice, a strong voice into the Legislature that’s going to hold the current government to account and also make sure that people see there are other options.
SHIFT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY
CTV News: You released your party platform earlier this week, tell me what are the main priorities?
Rudachyk: For us one of the big priorities is we really need to diversify the economy in this province. You look at it, oil and gas are not going to be what they were in the past. The glory days are long gone now and we need to be diversifying our energy portfolio.
One of the big things there is we need to actively move into renewable energy. The coal fired power plants in Estevan are going to have to shut down by law in ten years. The small modular nuclear plants that Mr. Moe is touting are at least 20 to 25 years away. Where are we going to meet that shortfall in the meantime? We need to be full on into renewables. The way that we propose to do that is to change the SaskPower Act to require SaskPower to purchase renewable energy from local producers at a fair market rate. We’d also offer financial incentives and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and First Nations that want to invest in wind, solar and geothermal.
Rudachyk: Over the next ten years we’d like to see 1,000 electric vehicle charging station costs $50,000. We could be putting in 100 a year for the next ten years, and that’s a very affordable thing.
People would be able to drive their electric vehicles anywhere in this province and if they need to charge up, during that 40 minutes while they’re charging they would have the option of going to that restaurant and buying a meal, they would have the option of going shopping in that small town. It would boost local economies.
RETURN OF THE FILM TAX CREDIT
Rudachyk: We absolutely need to bring back the Film Tax Credit. It is blatantly obvious with the release of the movie “Percy” just recently. That was shot in Manitoba, but it’s about a Saskatchewan farmer.
Why would we throw away an opportunity for a program that costs the taxpayers nothing but brings huge economic benefits to this province. That’s something the Sask. Party needs to answer to.
Rudachyk: The profits from SaskTel and SaskTel Mobility should not be going into general revenues in this province. Rather, they should be going into investing into improving internet connectivity throughout this whole province.
There are days where I can barely get on the internet, even through my cell phone. I know so many farmers, so many ranchers who are getting hurt by this, so many isolated communities, including in the north, First Nation communities that simply do not have proper internet connectivity and we need to really change that in such a way that it’s beyond belief.
You want to boost the economy of this province? Boost the rural areas. Boost the small towns.
CTV News: We’re just about out of time here, any last words you would like to send out to the people of Saskatchewan ahead of that Oct. 26 election date?
Rudachyk: We’re only running three candidates but ask yourself this: do you want a candidate who’s just going to be another backbench Sask. Party MLA or seeing the ineffectiveness of the NDP for the last ten years, do you want another ineffective NDP MLA or do you want an MLA that’s going to stand up for you?