In a huge upset, Jim Lemaigre the Saskatchewan Party candidate in the riding of Athabasca has won the riding for the governing party.
With 37 of the 37 polls reporting in the riding, Lemaignre will be the next MLA for the riding of Athabasca. Lemaignre captured 51.4% of the vote,(1,146 votes).
Buffalo Party of Sask.
Lemaigre defeated Georgina Jolibois of the Saskatchewan NDP. The Saskatchewan NDP have held the riding since 1975, but for a brief three years in early 1990's when the Liberals held the riding.
In 1995 Bucky Belanger won the riding as a Liberal and crossed the floor in 1998 to join the Saskatchewan NDP. He held the seat in every election up until the 2020 Saskatchewan election.
Lemaigre is a member of Clearwater River Dene Nation and a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Jolibois was the former Member of Parliament for the riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River which spanned the entire northern section of the province.
Premier Scot More Tweeted his congratulations to the MLA-elect Lemaigres minutes after the
polls closed, "Thank you to the voters of Athabasca for electing Jim Lemaigre, our first ever (Saskatchewan Party) MLA in the far north. Jim will be an outstanding representative and a strong voice for the north in our Saskatchewan Party government.
"Our (Saskatchewan Party) government has always had MLAs representing every part of the province, except for the far north. That changed tonight. Saskatchewan Party MLAs now represent every part of SK, from border to border to border to border," He added.
Lemaignre takes over from Bucky Belanger who resigned back in August 2021, to run federally for the Liberal Party of Canada. He placed second to Conservative winner Gary Vidal.
The mail in ballots will be counted on February 17th. Only 40 mail in ballots were requested.