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Tuesday, September 04, 2012 

50 Economists Want Erin Weir To Seek Leadership Of The Saskatchewan NDP‏

Saskatchewan New Democrats are preparing to launch a leadership campaign that will see a new leader elected in March 2013. Selection will be done with a 'One member/one vote' format. 

A number of Canadian economists have signed a letter actively encouraging Erin Weir to throw his hat into the leadership ring. Erin Weir is a Saskatchewan native who has served as economist for the United Steelworkers. He is now with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Weir is also President of the Progressive Economics Forum. 

Weir is well known in Saskatchewan for speaking out against the governing Saskatchewan Party's position on natural resource management and royalty structures. Essentially, Weir is challenging the massive 'give away' of the province's resource wealth. A portion of the letter states:  

"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 Fnance minister Ralph Goodale in 2004.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Great Distinction) from the University of Regina, which awarded him the JackBoan 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 costof living, government budgets, interest rates and other economic issues has been quoted more than 600 times inthe 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, DonDrummond 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."

A partial list of signers include:  
(Former Presidents of the Canadian Economics Association) 
-Robin Boadway, Economics Professor, Queen’s University, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Saskatchewan Rhodes Scholar 
-Pierre Fortin, Economics Professor Emeritus, Université du Québec à Montréal and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 
-Lars Osberg, Economics Department Head, Dalhousie University  

(Former Federal NDP Candidates) 
-Mel Watkins, Economics Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
-James Laxer, Political Economist, York University and Former Research Director, Federal NDP 
-Rob Moir, Head of Social Sciences and Economics Professor, University of New Brunswick
-Pierre Laliberté, Economist, Formerly with the Canadian Labour Congress and United Steelworkers 

(Academic and Professional Economists) 
-Allen Backman, Political Economist and Assistant Director, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan 
-Jack Boan, Economics Professor Emeritus, University of Regina
-Robyn Allan, Former President, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and Former Economist, Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan 
-Maximilian Schmeiser, Economist, U.S. Federal Reserve, Saskatchewan Expatriate and Jack Boan Medalist 
-Jim Stanford, Canadian Auto Workers’ Economist and Globe & Mail Columnist 
-Gary Tompkins, Economics Professor, University of Regina 
-John Evans, General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD

-Here is the full list of Economists who have signed the letter ...  

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