"Hey there's a movement to draft Erin Weir to run for NDP leader in Saskatchewan! Seconded!" - Andrew Coyne
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Our Own Erin Weir Would Make a Great Sask NDP Leader!
Posted by Jim Stanford June 19th, 2012
I’ve worked closely with Erin for years, being struck by his combination of talent & passion right from the time he entered the PEF’s student essay contest (which he won for the first time exactly a decade ago, awarded at the CEA 2002 meetings in Calgary). Thirty-six other economists and I think he’d make a great contribution to economic policy discourse as NDP leader in his native province, and have released the letter below. Recent debates over the pace and nature of resource development in Canada make it all the more important that Erin’s voice is heard loudly. Good luck Erin!
Here’s the letter:
Dear Saskatchewan New Democrats,
We, the undersigned economists, write to encourage you to nominate Erin Weir for your provincial leadership. He is a committed social democrat with an extensive record of articulating public policies to ensure that all Saskatchewan people benefit from economic development. Having a prominent economist as leader would strengthen the NDP’s credibility on fiscal and economic issues.
We also note that Premier Brad Wall has emerged as a vocal critic of national social programs and of the federal NDP. The province and the country would be well served by a Saskatchewan NDP leader able to engage Wall and advance a progressive western perspective on national economic issues.
Erin was born in Saskatoon, grew up in Regina and has been an active New Democrat since 1997. As an elected member of the Saskatchewan NDP legislative advisory committee, he represented the party in government caucus meetings during Roy Romanow’s premiership. Erin also served as president of the Saskatchewan Young New Democrats and as the federal NDP candidate against finance minister Ralph Goodale in 2004.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Great Distinction) from the University of Regina, which awarded him the Jack Boan Medal for the highest graduating average in economics and the 2006 Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Erin completed a Master of Arts at the University of Calgary and a Master of Public Administration at Queen’s University, where he won the Donald Gow Founder’s Medal for the highest academic standing in that program. He was a Saskatchewan nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship.
After university, Erin gained practical experience in government by working in the federal Treasury Board Secretariat, Department of Finance and Privy Council Office through the Accelerated Economist Training Program. He went on to work at the Canadian Labour Congress national office, the International Trade Union Confederation world headquarters in Brussels, and the United Steelworkers Canadian office. He is also a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. As president of the 200-member Progressive Economics Forum, he works with an elected executive to coordinate this organization’s activities across Canada.
Erin is an effective communicator in the national media. Since 2007, his commentary on employment, the cost of living, government budgets, interest rates and other economic issues has been quoted more than 500 times in the print editions of Canadian newspapers. He frequently and ably represents the left in televised panel debates, including with Kevin O’Leary on CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange, Ian Lee on CBC’s Power & Politics, Don Drummond on the Business News Network, Andrew Coyne on TV Ontario, Danielle Smith on The Michael Coren Show, and Brian Lee Crowley on CTV’s National Affairs.
Erin on Policy
Erin has clearly and consistently argued for a fairer return from the extraction of Saskatchewan’s non-renewable resources. In 2002, he wrote “Saskatchewan’s Oil and Gas Royalties: A Critical Appraisal,” published by the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy. This paper correctly envisioned the subsequent run-up in energy prices and contended that the provincial government should raise, rather than lower, royalty rates. Former Premier Allan Blakeney’s memoirs acknowledge Erin’s research contribution to the oil and gas chapter.