Chilliwack’s Jeremy Cockrill has longed dreamed of being elected to political office.
When he was a young kid, he used to clip out all of the political ads out of the Chilliwack Progress and paste them into a notebook, just to keep track of what the candidates were promising for the community.
Later, he volunteered to put up campaign signs and served as a scrutineer on election day.
“But shortly thereafter I found my true campaign calling — door knocking,” he said Monday as he lived out his dream, making his first speech in the Saskatchewan legislature. “Mr. Speaker, as most members in this Assembly can attest to, there is nothing quite like meeting folks on their doorsteps.”
Cockrill delivered the speech in his official status as newly-minted MLA for Battleford, Saskatchewan.
The 30 year old won the rural riding for the Sask Party in late October, winning in a landslide over NDP challenger Amber Stewart.
“It’s encouraging to see the hard work in the last number of months come to fruition,” Cockrill told the Battlefords News-Optimist on the night of his victory. “It was obviously a much different campaign just given obviously we were in the midst of a pandemic, and the guidelines around social distancing and so on. I would say the reaction at the doors was great here in the Battlefords, both on the Battleford side and northtown. People were excited I think just to have someone at their door and then excited to hear about our plans for another four years in government.”
A graduate of Langley’s Trinity Western University replaces retired MLA Herb Cox, joining a government that heads into its fourth term holding a majority.
“When the opportunity emerged to put my name forward for the Saskatchewan Party nomination in my constituency, I knew this was a great opportunity to serve the people of The Battlefords and this province,” Cockrill said in his legislature speech. “And I’d like to thank the people of the Battlefords for giving me that opportunity.”
Cockrill played basketball at Highroad Academy before heading on to TWU, where he also played for the Spartans.
He now coaches hoops in Saskatchewan and used part of his speech to acknowledge the tough times athletes are facing during the COVID pandemic.
“Mr. Speaker, for many young people in this province, sports are a major part of their formation and their community as they grow up,” he said. “I’m very sad for these young athletes that we cannot participate as normal during this school year. This last weekend we would have been competing in an annual tournament at Centennial Collegiate in Saskatoon, one of the best tournaments in the province, Mr. Speaker. And I look forward to the day when the NBCHS [North Battleford Comprehensive High School] Vikings and other young athletes in this province can return to their respective fields, courts, and rinks of play.”
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