© Herald file photo
Former Ward 5 Prince Albert city councillor Cheryl Ring is a candidate for nomination in the Sask. Party‚Äôs Prince Albert Carlton constituency, currently filled by outgoing MLA Darryl Hickie.
Using her experience as both a past city councillor and present student mentor, Cheryl Ring is seeing a Sask. Party seat in the next provincial election.
Although she‚Äôd been floating the idea for a while, last month‚Äôs news that Darryl Hickie is not running for re-election her home riding of Prince Albert Carlton spurred her to action.
‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt think that this opportunity would come forward,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI thought Darryl would be there for a lot longer, but I thought that at this time of my life it was good fit.‚ÄĚ
Ring is the first candidate to announce their intention to run for nomination in the Sask. Party‚Äôs Prince Albert Carlton constituency.
What Ring feels will make her a unique voice in Regina is her commitment to youth, as exemplified through her work as a mentor at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School and volunteer work.
‚ÄúIn my current role as a mentor I have really gotten to know our students and the citizens of Prince Albert that are most vulnerable and need our help,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI think with that knowledge will help me to help them in a better way.‚ÄĚ
Students don‚Äôt‚Äô necessarily have all the tools they need to fulfil the requests of social agencies, Ring said, noting that she‚Äôs helped a number of students cross the hurdles of bureaucracy.
‚ÄúI think I have a really good understanding of what their needs are,‚ÄĚ she said.
Ring said that she‚Äôs running for a Sask. Party seat specifically because of what she‚Äôs perceived to be the party‚Äôs commitment to youth, including its creation of the Graduate Retention Program -- a program that helps pay off the student loans for those students who remain in the province.
‚ÄúI can say from a first-hand example that my daughter is a beneficiary of the Graduate Retention Program,‚ÄĚ Ring said.
I thought Darryl would be there for a lot longer, but I thought that at this time of my life it was good fit. Cheryl Ring
‚ÄúI would like that opportunity for all of the students that I see, and I would like those students to be able to go to university and for them to assess that Graduate Retention Program money and to stay in Prince Albert and area and build our province.‚ÄĚ
The Sask. Party‚Äôs stance when it comes to small business is also of interest to Ring, who with her husband Stephen co-own and operate Ring Appraisals.
Although Ring hopes to ‚Äúpick up where Darryl leaves off,‚ÄĚ she said that her stance on the city‚Äôs pursuit of a second North Saskatchewan River crossing will be more vocal.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm ready to take on the second bridge issue -- Of course, I have to be, because that is a concern of the citizens of Prince Albert,‚ÄĚ she explained.
Various options, such as private-public partnerships, need to be explored, she said, noting that a second bridge project could go in many different ways.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm just going to keep saying ‚Ä¶ we need a bridge, we need a bridge, we need a bridge.‚ÄĚ
Ring was a city councillor for one three-year term beginning in 2009. Running as Ward 5‚Äôs incumbent in 2012, she narrowly lost to Tim Scharkowski.
Last month, two-term Prince Albert Carlton MLA Darryl Hickie announced that he will not be running for re-election in the next election, opting to instead finish his career with the Prince Albert Police Service.
The next provincial election is expected to take place in 2016.