Scott Moe was officially sworn in as premier of Saskatchewan by the province’s Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield on Friday morning.
The new premier then announced his cabinet, which includes several of the leadership candidates in key positions.
Gordon Wyant will take over as deputy premier and minister of education.
Being a vocal advocate for education throughout his campaign, Wyant said he’s ready for his new position.
“Teachers are facing challenges in the classroom they weren’t facing three or four years ago. They need supports in the classroom, and I think a lot of that comes from educational assistants so I think that’s one of the key things we need to look at as we roll out the new funding,” explained Wyant.
Moe plans to follow through with his campaign promise to add $30 million into education, making it feasible to hire 400 more educational assistants in Saskatchewan.
Finance Minister Donna Harpauer is calling the upcoming provincial budget “flexible” and able to fulfill Moe’s commitments.
Former social services minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor will move over to become the minister of advanced education and the minister responsible for innovation Saskatchewan. She will also reprise her former role as minister responsible for the status of women.
Ken Cheveldayoff, who came in third in the leadership race, becomes the minister of central services and the minister responsible for the public service commission and the provincial capital commission.
As for Moe’s fourth fellow leadership candidate, Alanna Koch, he didn’t clarify what her next steps are, but said she will not be returning as deputy minister to the premier. Moe said he will be sitting down with her, as he did with all the other former candidates, to discuss her future with the Sask. Party government.
Jeremy Harrison, who dropped out of the leadership race to support Moe, has been named minister of export and trade development and minister of immigration and careers training.
Moe said Harrison’s role, in part, will be to work with the province’s export partners to grow the economy through trade agreements and any other opportunities via Saskatchewan’s agriculture, mining, manufacturing and energy industries.
Warren Kaeding will take his first cabinet position as the minister of government relations and the minister of First Nations, Metis and northern affairs.
Two current ministers are changing cabinet positions — including Christine Tell, who becomes minister of corrections and policing and the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation. Former education minister Bronwyn Eyre will now become the minister of energy and resources and the minister responsible for SaskWater and SaskEnergy.
Interim opposition NDP leader Nicole Sarauer is criticizing Moe’s decision to keep Eyre in cabinet following her controversial remarks on treaty education.
“We’ve seen time and time again her not understanding or respecting her files, so she lost a lot of respect from stakeholders in the education sector,” said Sarauer.
Ten ministers will stay in their current cabinet positions:
- Don Morgan remains the minister of justice and attorney general, and minister responsible for labour relations and workplace safety and workers’ compensation board. He will add the responsibility for Global Transportation Hub and SaskTel.
- Donna Harpauer remains minister of finance
- Lyle Stewart will continue as minister of agriculture and minister responsible for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance
- Jim Reiter remains minister of health
- Dustin Duncan remains minister of environment and minister responsible for the Water Security Agency and SaskPower
- Greg Ottenbreit continues as minister of rural and remote health
- David Marit remains minister of highways and infrastructure, and minister responsible for SaskBuilds and Priority Saskatchewan
- Joe Hargrave continues as minister of Crown Investments Corporation and minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance
- Paul Merriman remains minister of social services
- Gene Makowsky stays as minister of parks, culture and sport, as well as minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, while adding responsibility for Tourism Saskatchewan.
The new premier also quickly followed up the cabinet announcement by setting the date of March 1 for three by-elections. These elections will fill vacant seats in Kindersley and Melfort along with former premier Brad Wall’s seat in Swift Current.
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