Born August 28, 1944, in Moose Jaw, Ned Shillington was raised on a farm south of the city. He graduated in law from the University of Saskatchewan in 1968 and articled in Regina before joining a practice in Moosomin. In 1968 Shillington helped Regina NDP MLA Ed Whelan research changes to the insurance act brought forward by the Thatcher government that forced the repeal of the proposed legislation. He ran for the NDP in Moosomin in 1971, but narrowly lost. Shortly after the election he became an assistant to Attorney-General Roy Romanow, a position he held until winning the NDP nomination in Regina Centre. Shillington was elected in 1975 and appointed Minister of Consumer Affairs where he introduced rent control legislation. He served as deputy government House Leader and chair of the legislative review committee. Leaving Cabinet in 1980, Shillington returned to practicing law. In 1982, he was one of only eight New Democrats to survive the Conservative sweep and took on significant critic duties. Shillington was re-elected in 1986 and 1991. In 1992 he was re-appointed to Cabinet as Associate Minister of Finance, assisting Finance Minister Ed Tchorzewski to deal with the debt crisis and was vice-chair of treasury board. He resumed the chair of the legislative review committee. Re-elected in 1995, Shillington left Cabinet in 1998 and resigned his seat before the 1999 election to become a consultant. He later moved to Calgary to establish a consultancy firm.