Two Saskatchewan Party MLAs running for the federal Conservatives resigned their seats in the provincial legislature on the first official day of federal campaigning Wednesday.It leaves two vacant urban seats and questions about whether the provincial government will call a byelection to replace the departing members in Saskatoon and Regina.Regina Walsh Acres MLA Warren Steinley and Saskatoon Eastview MLA Corey Tochor have both represented their ridings since 2011. Steinley is now running to take Regina—Lewvan for the Conservatives, while Tochor is looking to help the party hold onto Saskatoon—University after replacing incumbent Brad Trost.The pair will be eligible for a few months of transitional payments and both plan to follow past precedent and accept the money.The candidates had committed to resigning as MLAs at the official start of the campaign, which began with the writ of election on Wednesday. They faced NDP criticism for continuing to collect their paycheques while campaigning for federal office, but both stressed that they continued to fulfill their duties as MLAs.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Steinley and Tochor have been eyeing federal runs since early 2018, when they announced their plans to seek Conservative nominations.The NDP also urged Premier Scott Moe to call byelections to replace them. But there is no requirement that he do so, since byelections don’t have to be called if a member resigns more than 40 months after the most recent general election. That threshold was crossed on Aug. 6.Moe was not immediately available to comment on his plans. He is expected to address the issue at the installation ceremony for the lieutenant-governor on Thursday.The Government Caucus Office has previously said only that the prime minister “will follow all relevant legislation” and had not decided on a course of action as of late June.The issue has made an appearance on the doorsteps during the federal campaign. During a spate of door knocking Wednesday, one woman in Regina’s north end told Steinley she was “disappointed” she could be left without an MLA for more than a year.But Steinley responded by noting that neighbouring MLAs like Regina Rochdale representative Laura Ross will be on hand to pick up the slack.He also noted that the decision about a calling a byelection is not his to make.“It’s up to the provincial government if we are going to have a byelection or not,” he said.The woman eventually said she was pleased he had come to provide his explanation. Steinley said he’s heard from about 10 voters with similar concerns.Both Steinley and Tochor will be eligible for transition allowances, as per a directive of the Board of Internal Economy. The allowance is valued at one month’s pay for each year of service. That would amount to approximately seven to eight months of pay for each member.Steinley’s campaign office provided a statement indicating he will accept the allowance.“Warren is aware of the transition allowance and he will follow past precedent set by retiring, resigning and defeated MLA’s,” said the statement. “Historically, MLAs of different political parties have all set a precedent and collected the allowance.”Tochor’s campaign said much the same thing, without explicitly saying “yes.”“He will follow past precedent,” said a [email protected]

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