It would likely be no surprise to anyone that Saskatchewan Party leadership candidate Scott Moe is rooted in the prairies.
But once a year he can be found glued to the TV for Discovery channel’s annual shark week.
In fact, he is so obsessed with one of the world’s greatest predators that he even has the app ‘Sharktivity” on his cellphone that details shark activity around the globe.
“I’m definitely scared of sharks and I’m very nervous about going into any body of water, particularly those that might have sharks,” Moe laughed during a sit-down, one-on-one interview with 980 CJME. “My wife laughs at me because she coaxes me to go snorkelling or something and I am just stiff as a board in the water.”
Moe was one of the surprise candidates whose name did not immediately come up when Brad Wall first announced his retirement in August. But a couple of weeks later Moe stood, surrounded with the support of 22 of his fellow MLAs, to announce his campaign and become one of the frontrunners.
“In 1991 when I graduated high school we jumped on an airplane and went to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to build houses,” Moe recalled. “We didn’t have the opportunities back then. I want to extend the growth that we have enjoyed here. I have children, they want to live here.”
Seeking to be premier is much like a job interview, and when asked who he would go to for a reference; Moe answered the constituents he has represented since 2011 in Rosthern-Shellbrook.
“Good or bad, I think they would have something to say about me being their MLA,” Moe joked.
But he admits to having both strengths and weaknesses that would shape the sort of premier he might be.
“I have the ability to identify when we have an issue in front of us and bring the people who are interested in a finding a solution into a room, or the people affected by it. Let’s talk about what the challenge is, let’s bounce around ideas, let’s talk about potential solutions, find the best one and act on it,” Moe said. “That’s another strength, make sure it gets done.”
Moe added that his weakness is probably always having his eye on the next big thing and his wife having to remind him to finish everything he starts.
His family is something at the core for Moe. His wife keeps him rooted and his parents, particularly his father, continue to provide inspiration.
“He’s been an honest, hardworking person all of his life, always busy,” Moe described. “He is slow and steady, never gets too alarmed by anything, he brings that calming hand if you will to every room that he enters. I hope to be something like that when I get to be his age.”
Like all good prairie boys, Moe can be found on his snowmobile in winter, but it is the music he might be listening to while enjoying the great outdoors that may cause him some embarrassment. Amid artists like Johnny Cash, Alabama and Zach Brown Band can be found Christina Aguilera and the blame rests with his children.
“My daughter danced competitively for a number of years, I don’t know all of the moves they’re doing but I remember the songs and will still listen,” Moe laughed. “This may get me a scolding with my friends.”
While there are times when there are cabbage rolls and perogies around the table at supper, there is also a British flair. When asked what meal he would choose to eat on a day with nothing to do it would be roast beef, mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.
“Through my wife’s grandparents who were British, and my later mother-in-law, who had to be one of the best cooks in the whole world, we are still attempting to redo some of their meals and you can see by the size of me that we are still attempting and eating them,” Moe said smiling.
Continuing with the British theme, Moe would choose wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the historical figure he would want to share a meal with.
“Some of the leadership that he had to exude both within the people that he served with, but also on behalf of the people through some challenging times, to say the least, that leadership, like it or love it, he put it out there and he put everything out there for years,” Moe said. “The wit that he provided, who else would you want to sit down with.”
Whatever the outcome may be on January 27, Moe maintained he has enjoyed meeting people and getting to know more about the province.
“I am most certainly a winner already and so is Saskatchewan,” Moe said. “We live in a great place and it will continue to be because of the people that live here.”
So long as the sharks don’t move in.