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Veteran Sports Broadcaster Takes on Sitting Tory in Saskatoon

High-profile CTV personality Kevin Waugh will fight for Conservative nomination.

By Jeremy J. Nuttall 17 Jun 2015 | TheTyee.ca

Jeremy J. Nuttall is The Tyee's Parliament Hill reporter in Ottawa. Find his previous stories here.

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A veteran Saskatoon sports broadcaster is challenging current Conservative MP Lynne Yelich for the party nomination in a newly-formed local riding, the bulk of which Yelich has held since 2000.

Kevin Waugh has been a high-profile broadcaster with CTV Saskatoon for 39 years, but said he feels the Saskatoon-Grasswood riding in the southern part of the city has changed and needs new representation in Ottawa.

The riding used to be known as Blackstrap and was a mixture of urban and rural areas, but was reconfigured and renamed in 2013. Twenty-eight per cent of Saskatoon-Grasswood is new and now mostly urban.

"I've lived in the riding for over 35 years with my family, so yeah, I am challenging [Yelich]," Waugh said. "I was approved [to run] and the interview process goes tomorrow."

Waugh said he's running for the Conservatives because he feels they are the best party to help families, adding he thinks Stephen Harper has done an admirable job as prime minister.

Until recently when she moved to Saskatoon, Yelich lived in Kenaston -- 80 kilometres outside of Saskatoon, but still part of the Blackstrap riding. She now sits as Minister of State for the federal Conservatives.

'Most well-known personality in the city'

Fifty-nine-year-old Waugh, who describes himself as an institution in Saskatoon, said he grew up in the city and has sat on many boards, including 10 years as a school trustee.

"I'm probably the most well-known personality in the city," Waugh said. "I've been in every living room for the last 39 years."

Yelich has so far enjoyed protection in the seat, Waugh said, because the tension of minority governments meant the party would not approve someone to challenge her.

Waugh said there were procedural hoops but no resistance from the Conservative Party to him running against a sitting MP. The party committed to open nominations last year.

He said he isn't running out of animosity towards Yelich or her performance as MP, though he would have liked her to be more visible in the riding.

"MPs don't get entitlement. They gotta work," he said. "I know they work hard in Ottawa, but their first responsibility is listening here at home. I'm not sure that's been done."

Waugh said he'll take a leave of absence from CTV until the process is complete. The nomination meeting is expected in early July.  [Tyee]

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