The local roots run deep for Estevan MLA Lori Carr, as she takes on her newly appointed role of provincial Minister of Highways and Infrastructure.
Those roots have had quite a say in getting herself to where she is now. Among the different areas of the community she's been involved with is the Air Cadets, to which she has dedicated many years, and credits quite a few associated skills that have given her success in politics.
"Air Cadets has been tremendous for me. One of the reasons I've been so comfortable in front of people and being able to speak is the Air Cadet program. I attribute it one hundred percent to their effective speaking program," she said.
Carr joined the local #30 Wylie Mitchell squadron in 1982 at the age of 12, back when they paraded at the old Estevan airport. She was in the program when the group moved into their current location, the Wylie Mitchell Hall, and graduated from there at the age of 17. She then carried on into the officer roles for the next 17 years, working in administration and then the final five as the Commanding Officer of the local squadron. Following that stint, she switched to the Air Cadet League until 2016, at one time serving as the area director for the southeast. Upon being elected as MLA, she had to step down to carry on her other duties.
"I truly am a Cadet success story. That's what I did through my whole high school years, learning those leadership abilities, how to serve your community and appreciate the values that that brings to not only yourself, but your community and your family around you."
The local squadron's current Commanding Officer, Captain Danielle Fleury, was just as quick to label it such, and noted that it also makes Carr a role model.
"I think the cadets are really going to look up to people like Lori. Anyone who's gone through the program and has gotten a big job like that, and even the pilots that have gone through the program, a lot of these cadets look up to them and say, 'Look, I can do that, I can go through this program and end up just like them.'"
Fleury is also familiar first hand with Carr and her time in Air Cadets, following in the same footsteps.
"When I was a cadet, Lori was actually my Commanding Officer. I've done a lot of work with her. Then when I became Commanding Officer, she actually gave the ropes to me and helped me get on my feet and make the squadron a successful place, just like she did when she was in charge."
"We had a lot of memories through cadets. The camp-outs that she took us on, and she took us on a lot of expeditions, survival exercises and flying trips. She spent a lot of time with the cadets, and she kind of led me to where I am today."