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Erin Weir

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Erin Weir

Erin Weir
Personal details
Born Saskatoon, SK
Political party New Democratic Party
Residence Regina, SK
Occupation Economist

Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union's Canadian National Office.[1] Weir is a frequent guest on the 2004 federal election, Weir was the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the riding of Wascana,[3] challenging then liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale. Weir also ran for the Leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP in 2012-13. He has been nominated to run for the federal NDP again in the next federal election, currently scheduled for October 19, 2015, in the new riding of Regina—Lewvan.[4]

Early life and education

Weir was born in Saskatoon and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan. His commitment and dedication to his studies led to many honours including becoming the first Saskatchewan high school student to earn a berth in the finals of the Great Canadian Geography Challenge.[5] He attended the University of Regina from 1999 to 2002 where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Great Distinction) in Economics, History and Political Science. Weir also has a Master of Arts in History from the University of Calgary and a Master's in Public Administration from Queen's University.[6]

In 1997 Weir was a Citizen Co-Chair for the "Finding Common Ground on Canada's Future" public consultations on the principles of the Premiers' Calgary Declaration on Canada's Constitution.[6] In 2001 he was a Communications Consultant with the Saskatchewan Government and wrote speeches for cabinet ministers, senior civil servants, and the Premier of Saskatchewan[6]

Erin is an accomplished writer and essayist having published book chapters, journal articles, policy papers, and entries in reference books. He also has had dozens of "Letters to the Editor" and "Op-Eds" published in many newspapers, going back to when he was submitting to the "Minus 20 Column" in the Regina Leader Post[7] As well, he served as a researcher on oil and gas policy for former Saskatchewan premier Allan Blakeney’s memoirs.[5]



In 2005, Weir was one of 14 candidates selected from 650 applicants to the Government of Canada’s Accelerated Economist Training Program, through which he worked at the Treasury Board Secretariat, Department of Finance, and Privy Council Office.[8] He wrote briefing notes for the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Weir went on to work as an economist for the Canadian Labour Congress(CLC) and the United Steelworkers union’s Canadian National Office, frequently representing these organizations to the Bank of Canada and parliamentary committees. He participated in the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.[8]

Throughout his career, Weir has also written extensively as a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.[9]

In 2008, Weir served as Canada’s labour representative at a conference hosted by the North American Commission for Labor Cooperation (the body that administers NAFTA’s labour side agreement).

Weir relocated to Brussels, Belgium, in 2010 and 2011 to work as Senior Economist at the International Trade Union Confederation [10] The ITUC is the global umbrella organization of national labour centrals (including the CLC), representing 175 million workers in 153 countries.[11]

Weir contributed to international campaigns for a financial transactions tax and quality public services. He drafted the trade union statement for the 2011 World Economic Forum and prepared reports on core labour standards in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka for the World Trade Organization.

Weir was a trade union delegate to the 100th session of the International Labour Conference, which sets International Labour Organization policy. He also represented trade unions in meetings with the World Bank, European Commission, Financial Stability Board, International Monetary Fund and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Weir has appeared on CBC’s The National and CBC News Network (Often on The Lang & O'Leary Exchange), Global National, TVO’s Agenda with Steve Paikin,[12] CTS’s Michael Coren Show, CPAC,[13] and the Business News Network. He has many published letters to the Editor and Op-Eds in The Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star. He has also testified many times to committees of the Parliament of Canada and Legislative Assemblies of Ontario and Saskatchewan, and has provided frequent national and local radio interviews, in both English and French.

Weir often defends the positions of the United Steelworkers and of the NDP in the Canadian media. He has defended the Obama Administration's "Buy America" policy[14] as possibly benefiting Canada. Weir has been a frequent commentator on the need for higher resource royalties[15] He has extensively argued against the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario[16]

In 2005 Weir became the Treasurer of the Progressive Economics Forum, an organization that aims to promote the development of a progressive economics community in Canada. He became President of the forum in 2010. Since 2006 he has been blogging as Relentlessly Progressive Economics, the PEF’s blog, a source of real-time commentary on Canadian economic policy issues.[17] His blog post topics tend to focus on resource royalty issues, the Canadian labour market, and provincial and federal public policy.

Since May 2012, Weir has uploaded dozens of videos to his YouTube channel and has over 17,000 views.[18]


Party Background

Weir was the Vice-president and President of the SYND (the youth wing of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party) and served on the Saskatchewan NDP's Youth-Party Liaison Committee[19] He has also been a member of Provincial Council, the Provincial Executive, The Commonwealth Editorial Board, a member of the Saskatchewan NDP's Legislative Advisory Committee where he attended meetings of the Sask NDP Caucus.

In May 2012 while Weir was presenting in front of the Parliamentary Finance committee, he was attacked by Conservative MP Randy Hoback - who asked him the question "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the NDP party[sic]".[20] Both the CBC[21] and CPAC[22] made comparisons to McCarthyism based on this line of questioning from Hoback.

2004 Federal Election

In 2004, Weir ran in the Federal riding of Wascana against then Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale for the Liberals and Doug Cryer for the newly formed Conservative party.

Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal (x)Ralph Goodale 20,567 57.2 +16.0 $43,226
Conservative Doug Cryer 8,709 24.2 -11.9 $57,802
New Democratic Erin Weir 5,771 16.0 -5.5 $29,783
Green Darcy Robilliard 928 2.6
Total valid votes 35,975 100.0
Total rejected ballots 80 0.2 -0.1
Turnout 36,055 63.1 +0.9

Note: Conservative vote is compared to the Canadian Alliance vote in 2000 election.

2013 Saskatchewan NDP Leadership

See Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leadership election, 2013

Draft Weir movement

In June 2012 a group of over 50 Canadian Economists sent a public letter calling on Erin Weir to enter the 2013 Sask NDP Leadership Race.[23] Also a group of notable New Democrats including former NDP M.P. Dick Proctor and former NDP premier Howard Pawley of Manitoba created a "Committee to Draft Erin Weir".[24][25]


On September 7, 2012 Weir, then aged 30, announced he was entering the race.[26] He addressed the issue of his not having a seat by saying "I would see it advantageous as having a leader that is not tied down to Regina all the time and free to tour the province." He also made the comparison to Jack Layton and the federal NDP of the time.[27] Earlier that week, he had addressed his age saying the age of the candidate should not be the focus of voters and that “Public policy is more important,”.[28]

He was one of four declared candidates including MLA Cam Broten, doctor Ryan Meili, and MLA Trent Wotherspoon.

His campaign was described by the media as organized[29] and one of the main political commentators in the province said the race was "highly competitive"[30] and "The fact they could all win is probably incentive for all four to run."[31]


On February 20, 2013, Weir withdrew from the leadership race and endorsed fellow candidate Ryan Meili.[32]

2015/16 Federal Election

On April 11, 2014 Weir announced that he was seeking the NDP Nomination in the new Federal Riding of Regina-Lewvan.[33] He was nominated on June 22, 2014, defeating former 2011 Palliser federal NDP candidate Noah Evanchuk.

Academic publications

  • The Great Wall Ties Chairman Calvert's Five-Year Plan: Employment Growth in the New Saskatchewan, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Paper, June 2013[34]
  • Fraser Institute Tax Index: Half a Century of Fuzzy Math, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Paper, April 2010
  • Tax chapters in 2009 and 2010 Alternative Federal Budgets, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Provincial Unionization, Unemployment and Productivity, Just Labour, Volume 15: York University, November 2009[35]
  • The Treasury Transfer Effect: Are Canada’s Corporate Tax Cuts Shifting Billions to the U.S. Treasury? Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Paper, November 2009
  • Canada’s Free-Trade Agreements with the US and Mexico in International Trade and Neoliberal Globalism: Routledge, 2008[36]
  • The Conservative Tax Record (with Andrew Jackson) in The Harper Record: Ottawa, 2008
  • TILMA’s Supposed Economic Benefits for Saskatchewan, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Paper, July 2007
  • Trade Balances and Jobs: Canada, the U.S. and China, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Note, April 2007
  • Flaherty Will Get You Nowhere, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Note, March 2007
  • The Myth of Interprovincial Trade Barriers and TILMA’s Alleged Economic Benefits, (with Marc Lee), Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Paper, February 2007
  • The Nazi Submarine Blockade: A Near Victory of Economic Warfare?, M.A. Thesis, January 2007
  • Crouching Beaver, Hidden Dragon: Policy Implications of Chinese Investment in Canadian Resource Companies, Academic Paper, 2005
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Trade Statistics: North American Integration and the Exaggeration of Canadian Export, Canadian-American Public Policy, No. 63: University of Maine, July 2005
  • Money for Nothing: The Vicq Committee’s Corporate Tax Cuts, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Note, December 2005
  • Entries in The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Politicians: Lives Past and Present Canadian Plains Research Center, 2005 and 2004
  • Saskatchewan at a Crossroads: Fiscal Policy and Social Democratic Politics, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Paper, April 2004
  • Using the Legacy of World War I to Evaluate Canadian Military Leadership in World War I, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies Vol. 7, No. 1, Fall 2004
  • German Submarine Blockade, Overseas Imports, and British Military Production in World War II, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2003
  • Saskatchewan’s Oil and Gas Royalties: A Critical Appraisal, Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy Paper, December 2002


  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award, University of Regina, 2006
  • The Institute of Public Administration of Canada’s 2005 National Capital Region Student Essay Prize
  • Progressive Economics Forum Essay Award, Undergraduate Level, 2002, Graduate Level, 2005
  • Donald Gow Founder’s Medal for the highest academic standing in the MPA program (at Queen's University), 2005
  • Jack Boan Medal for being the top Economics major in his graduating class, April 2002
  • National University Debate Championships: Third in Public Speaking, March 2002
  • McGoun Cup Western Canadian Debate Championship: First Place Team, February 2002; Second Place Team, February 2001; Top Novice Team, February 2000


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  3. ^ "Final Results". The Record. Jun 30, 2004. p. A6. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
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  14. ^ "Bye-bye buy domestic". Winnipeg Free Press. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
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  21. ^ CBC News . 
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  24. ^ Mandryk, Murray (June 20, 2012). "MANDRYK: Erin Weir may kick-start NDP's leadership".  
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Weir joins race to lead Saskatchewan NDP".  
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  32. ^ Couture, Joe (February 20, 2013). "Weir drops out of Saskatchewan NDP leadership race, endorses Meili".  
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External links

  • Official website
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