Ryan Meili (RM): It’s going to really be exciting to go from our team of 13 elected folks to a team of 61 elected people and nominated candidates and working alongside them and people in the community and experts and people within the party to build a platform so that by this time next year we’re a lot closer to being able to say exactly what we’re running on and what our offer will be to the people of Saskatchewan.
That’s what’s most exciting to me about this, travelling the province, hearing what’s on people’s minds, what they really want to see and working with them to design a kind of plan that would move Saskatchewan forward in a positive way.
AS: When you became leader you mentioned the NDP needs a vision that excites people. What kind of vision or exciting ideas do you hope to form leading up to the next election?
However, we have SaskPower, we’ve got the ability working with our crowns to really change that and change it quickly. We have so many roofs, so many shops, and rinks and buildings all throughout the province that could have solar panels on them. Lots of opportunities for geothermal biomass, other types of renewable energy. Right now it’s a big cost barrier for people who want to make that shift, want to be producing energy at home and even making money from it.What we’d like to do with Renew Saskatchewan is implement a loan program.
If you want to put panels on the roof of your shop or have new high efficiency windows and you know that’ll save money, well we come out and we do the assessment. You find out how long it would take to pay off that savings, you get the loan right up front and by paying the power bills you’re already paying, you pay off that loan, your power bills drop right away. Then once you’ve paid it off, drop to next to nothing or maybe even making money because you’re producing electricity, selling it back to the grid.
I really like that idea and I’ve found that people have been really excited by it because they see that positive change to renewable energy but also opportunities for lower bills and opportunities for lots of jobs in the construction, the maintenance, the manufacturing of all of the materials that go into such a project.
AS: Where do you see yourself a year from now on gains in rural Saskatchewan?