Sask. NDP Chief Ryan Meili stepping down as Saskatoon Meewasin MLA

There will be a new face representing the constituency of Saskatoon Meewasin as current MLA Ryan Meili has announced he will be resigning from the seat.

Meili shared his decision with his fellow MLAs during the last day of the spring legislative session on Thursday in Regina, where he said he will remain as MLA until July 1.

This comes after his announcement in February that he will step down as leader of the Saskatchewan NDP following the NDP’s loss in the Athabasca byelection. He said he will stay on as party leader until a new leader is selected.

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Reflecting on his tenure on Thursday at the legislative building, Meili said he is grateful to have served as leader of the party and MLA for Saskatoon Meewasin, but added that it’s time for him to move on and do other things.

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“It has been the challenge, honor and opportunity of a lifetime,” Meili shared during scrums in the rotunda.

When asked what he would offer as words of advice to his successor as the head of the NDP, he said he would be making different decisions at this point if he had all the answers to that question.

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“Especially during the pandemic, there were really hard messages that I had to bring, and some of those messages had to be criticisms. But it’s not ideal for your leader to be the one who is always on the attack,” said Meili.

“What I would suggest and encourage is for the new leader to really make sure an important part of his job is always presenting that positive vision of what we will be able to achieve as well. We’ve tried to do that and I hope we’ve done some of that.”

As for what’s next for Meili, he mentioned that he will be taking some time off, going on a couple trips and thinking through his next steps.

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He added that he will be going back into medicine and looking at some degree of advocacy for health.

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Meili’s time as an MLA began in 2017 when he won the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection.

He then became party leader in 2018 after he fell short of becoming leader of the NDP in 2009 and again in 2012.

In the most recent Saskatchewan election, he won in his constituency by collecting 51 per cent of the vote.

With the NDP’s leadership position being vacated by Meili this summer, the party is set to vote next month for its new leader in Regina.

The leadership race has come down to Regina Lakeview MLA Carla Beck and Saskatoon lawyer Kaitlyn Harvey.

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