HUMBOLDT–WATROUS — Constance Maffenbeier is hoping to use her experiences as a rancher, police officer, nurse and teacher to advocate for better government if she was elected as MLA for Humboldt-Watrous.
“I have a wide versatile background and so I can talk about a lot of different things that look like they need to be corrected,” said Maffenbeier, who’s running for the Buffalo Party in the Monday, Oct. 26 provincial election.
Since retiring, Maffenbeier makes a living with her husband ranching a commercial herd of 153 Black and Red Angus cows and seven bulls near Guernsey.
The Buffalo Party wants the province of Saskatchewan to have more control over its destiny, whether that’s by coming up with a Quebec-style arrangement within Canada where the province collects its own taxes, has a say in immigration numbers, runs its own police service and operates a pension plan like the Canada Pension Plan; or by separating from the country.
“I'd like to see things changed for the Saskatchewan people,” Maffenbeier said. “We are a great province. We've got oodles and oodles of great resources and people. I'd like all that to stay in Saskatchewan for Saskatchewan people.”
Whether or not Saskatchewan should become its own sovereign country should be determined by a referendum, according to the party’s mission statement.
The party also believes in protecting people’s rights and freedoms, in reducing the size of government to reduce red tape and taxes, and ensuring all people in the province are treated fairly in regards to health care and education.
Maffenbeier said the more she learned about the Buffalo Party and their focus on taking care of people in the province, the more interested she became, until she decided to run for them in the election.
Wade Sira, the party’s leader, told the Humboldt Journal that much of the party’s platform is still being developed and will be released closer to the election.
Maffenbeier said she’d rather see the equalization payments funded by Saskatchewan taxpayers be used for projects in Saskatchewan.
“We can prosper so much better if we have our own money here and we're not pandering to the east.”
One of those projects could be improvement to Highway 16, Maffenbeier said, calling the condition of the highway a disaster.
“I've traveled this road when I was a police officer. I used to go down for training in Yorkton and the road was horrific and it was crappy, and no way could you pass because it was nonstop traffic so if you grew up behind the slope, you were doomed.”
The Saskatchewan Party government has promised more passing lanes on the highway over the next two years.
For healthcare, Maffenbeier said the province’s health authority is top heavy at the expense of medical professionals taking care of people on the ground.
“I've been in the healthcare field and I know the shortages that are there on the floor in the hospitals,” she said.
“I'd like to see more feet on the ground in the hospitals, nurses on the floors.”
Maffenbeier would also like to see PST removed from used vehicles. Used vehicles used to be exempt from PST until 2018.
“It's a hardship for consumers, it's hardship for people, so that's one of the things that bugs me.”
Maffenbeier said she would like to see an updated curriculum in K to 12 education that focuses on the basics and avoids politics, as that should be taught at home.
The candidate said the constituency needs an MLA who’s able to look at what needs fixing and making sure things don’t become stagnant.
“In the Humboldt-Watrous area you'd need a representative that is going to look after the best interests of the people in your constituency and that's what I want to do.”
Maffenbeier will be running against Donna Harpauer of the Saskatchewan Party and Wendy Sekulich of the NDP.