A member of Parliament (MP) who represented the Souris-Moose Mountain constituency for two terms has died.
Roy Bailey, who served the riding from 1997 to 2004, died on Dec. 13 in Bengough at the age of 89.
Bailey was born in Radville and spent most of his life residing in southeast and south-central Saskatchewan. He was a teacher in several Saskatchewan communities, and also worked as a principal, and as a director of education in Eston and Bengough.
But he also had a keen interest in politics. He ran for the Social Credit Party in the 1960s, and for the leadership of the provincial Conservative Party in 1973, finishing second behind Dick Collver.
He was elected as the MLA of the Rosetown-Elrose constituency in 1975, and remained in that post until 1978. He was also a school board trustee in the 1980s and 1990s.
But he gained his greatest satisfaction as the MP for Souris-Moose Mountain. He was first elected in 1997 for the Reform Party, defeating the incumbent Liberal MLA Bernie Collins and two other candidates. Bailey captured 13,732 votes, or 41.2 per cent, while Collins was second with 9,077 votes (27.2 per cent).
In the November 2000 election, Bailey ran again, this time with the Canadian Alliance Party, which was the successor to the Reform Party. Bailey captured 19,278 votes, or 63.3 per cent of the votes cast, to easily finish ahead of Tom Cameron of the New Democratic Party, who had 4,755 votes, or 15.6 per cent.
During his time as the MP, Bailey served as the party’s critic for Veteran’s Affairs. He also backed future Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Harper’s bid for the leadership of the Alliance Party, and later in Harper’s bid to lead the Conservative Party of Canada.
Bailey announced in the fall of 2003 that he would not seek a third term in Parliament. By that time, the Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservatives had merged into the Conservative Party, and Bailey was the eldest member of the party’s caucus when he retired.
His tenure as MP came to an end after the 2004 federal election, ending 55 years in public life between his careers in education and politics.
Bailey and his wife Helen moved to Thomson Lake, where they resided until 2013, when they moved to Moose Jaw. After his wife died in 2016, he moved back to Bengough.
The couple had three children, Susan, Janet and Lyall , as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A celebration of Roy’s life was held in Bengough on Dec. 19.