Stewart remains ag minister following Sask. cabinet shuffle

Lyle Stewart remains at the helm of Saskatchewan’s agriculture ministry after premier Brad Wall shuffled his cabinet today.

The Lumsden-Morse MLA is one of four ministers retaining their responsibilities as Wall downsized cabinet by one and added four rookies just elected in April.

Wall said the government must find savings of five percent across the board in order to balance the budget, and the cabinet changes will save about $450,000 annually. The cabinet now includes 17 ministers, including the premier.

“I think it’s also very important that we send a signal about fiscal responsibility,” he said.

Changes were expected after former deputy premier Don McMorris stepped down earlier this month when he was charged with impaired driving, former economy minister Bill Boyd asked to leave cabinet and then-environment minister Herb Cox stepped down to undergo stem cell treatment for cancer.

All three remain the MLAs for their respective constituencies.

Don Morgan, minister of education and labour from Saskatoon Southeast, is now deputy premier.

David Marit, MLA for Wood River and former president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, joins cabinet as the minister responsible for highways and infrastructure.

“Transportation has always been at the top of my priority list so I’m pretty excited about it,” he said moments after being sworn in at Government House.

He said the government is committed to tackling the infrastructure deficit.

“Unfortunately, it takes time to do all that and I’m just looking forward to continuing the role that previous ministers have done and carry on that work.”

Marit replaced Nancy Heppner (Martensville-Warman), who is no longer in cabinet. Also out as a result of the shuffle are Jennifer Campeau (Saskatoon Fairview), who was replaced in central services by Christine Tell (Regina Wascana Plains), and Mark Docherty (Regina Coronation Park), whose parks portfolio has been assumed by Ken Cheveldayoff (Saskatoon Willowgrove).

Tell’s corrections and policing duties have been taken on by justice minister Gordon Wyant (Saskatoon Northwest). Docherty is now a legislative secretary to the premier, responsible for immigration and culture.

After four years in the health portfolio, Dustin Duncan (Weyburn-Big Muddy) moved to energy and resources, SaskTel and SaskEnergy.

Jim Reiter (Rosetown-Elrose) is now health minister, handing over his government relations and First Nations responsibilities to Donna Harpauer (Humboldt-Watrous).

Tina Beaudry-Mellor, just elected in April in Regina University, takes on Harpauer’s previous job as minister of social services. Bronwyn Eyre (Saskatoon Stonebridge-Dakota) is the minister of advanced education, replacing Scott Moe (Rosthern-Shellbrook), who returns to his previously held role as minister of environment.

Joe Hargrave, Prince Albert-Carlton, is minister of the Crown Investments Corporation, replacing McMorris.

Jeremy Harrison (Meadow Lake) has taken on Boyd’s former duties as minister of the economy.

Staying in their roles are finance minister Kevin Doherty (Regina Northeast), rural and remote health minister Greg Ottenbreit (Yorkton) and Wyant.

Other roles announced today include Nadine Wilson (Saskatchewan Rivers) continuing as provincial secretary, Paul Merriman (Saskatoon Silverspring-Sutherland) as government house leader and Greg Lawrence (Moose Jaw Wakamow), government whip.

Legislative secretaries, in addition to Docherty, are:

*Campeau, to Morgan, for First Nations student achievement

*Lisa Lambert (Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood), to Morgan, curriculum development and consultation

*Lori Carr (Estevan), to SaskPower minister Wyant, for renewable and sustainable energy

*Fred Bradshaw (Carrot River Valley), to Moe, forestry and wildfire management

*Hugh Nerlien (Kelvington-Wadena), to Public Service Commission minister Cheveldayoff, public sector bargaining;

*Steven Bonk (Moosomin), to Harrison, export development

*Warren Kaeding (Melville-Saltcoats), to Stewart, on irrigation expansion.

The fall sitting of the legislative session is scheduled to begin Oct. 19.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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