MLA Greg Lawrence has represented the Moose Jaw Wakamow constituency for nearly 12 years, but party supporter Megan Patterson is aiming to dethrone the incumbent and become the riding’s new voice.
Patterson announced recently that she would challenge Lawrence as the Sask. Party’s representative in the riding during the upcoming nomination meeting; no date has yet been set.
Patterson — not to be confused with NDP candidate Melissa Patterson — told the Moose Jaw Express that she is running because she is a party member, ran in the 2020 provincial election in Regina Lakeview, believes public policy is important and has “a tremendous impact” on people’s lives, and has an educational and career background that can contribute to policymaking.
Furthermore, she chose Wakamow because she was born and raised on South Hill and went to Empire Elementary School and Riverview Collegiate. Moreover, her parents still live in the house that her grandfather built.
When asked what she thought about facing off against the political veteran Lawrence, Patterson commended him for his service and thought he had done a good job. Moreover, the province had made positive investments in Moose Jaw during his tenure.
“It’s unfortunate that I have to run against him, but … the party is going through a period of renewal,” she said. “Across the province, you’re seeing some new faces, and that’s good for the party and good for the province because it will position the government to continue to make investments in growth.”
Added Patterson, “I’ve always been interested in politics. This is always a path that I’ve seen myself going down. And Wakamow is where I grew up, so it’s the riding that’s most connected to my heart.”
From her conversations with voters, she knows people want to ensure the community continues to grow, remains vibrant, is a safe place to raise a family, and has suitable jobs in the future.
After graduating from Riverview more than 20 years ago, Patterson acquired a commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She then moved to Toronto — where she met her husband — to work for Fortune 500 company Proctor and Gamble. After 13 years, the couple moved to Ottawa and had their first son, before returning to Saskatchewan to raise their family.
She worked in Regina for eight years for SaskPower as a consultant in renewables and energy efficiency — she attained her executive MBA during that time — before moving to Moose Jaw to become a business instructor at Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
While Patterson had experience volunteering on political campaigns in Toronto, the 2020 provincial election was the first time she ran in one. She noted that that was a unique time considering the COVID-19 pandemic had just started and people were stressed.
“But for me, I really enjoyed it because I like getting out and talking to people … . It was exciting to finally be a candidate,” she said.
Patterson knew she faced an uphill battle running in the Regina Lakeview riding since it’s a strong NDP riding. Moreover, she was going up against incumbent Carla Beck — a “lovely” person — who was looking to win her second term.
Patterson believes Sask. Party voters in Wakamow should vote for her because of her background, business experience, and the fact she has the energy, commitment and community focus.