Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe declared a comprehensive reshuffling of his cabinet on Tuesday, impacting eight ministerial roles and integrating two new faces into the mix.
In a strategic shift, former Education Minister Dustin Duncan will assume a new role as the Minister of Crown Investments Corporation, overseeing all the province’s principal crown corporations. Duncan will be replacing Don Morgan, who has stated that he will not be vying for re-election in 2024.
The reshuffle further led to Christine Tell transitioning from her previous position as Minister of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety to the Minister of Environment, succeeding Dana Skoropad. Paul Merriman will be stepping into Tell’s former role, while also handling additional duties as Minister Responsible for Firearms Secretariat. Leave of the Ministry of Health has been granted to Merriman, with Everett Hindley named his successor.
Cabinet neophyte Tim McLeod will fill Hindley’s erstwhile roles of Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health. Reflecting on his fresh responsibilities, Hindley acknowledged the advancements made within the healthcare sector, while recognizing the pressing challenges that still linger.
Lori Carr will step into the shoes of Minister of Highways, passing her former Ministerial baton of SaskBuilds and Procurement to Prince Albert Carleton MLA Joe Hargrave. Finalizing the pack of newly appointed ministers is Jeremy Cockrill, who is set to serve as the latest Minister of Education.
Cockrill expressed his readiness to take on a portfolio currently grappling with criticism over the alleged lack of adequate school funding and contentious parental consent policies for name and pronoun changes in classrooms. He emphasized the need for parental input and admitted that he requires further briefings on the policy implementation, vowing to collaborate with stakeholders and school divisions.
In the same breath, nine ministers will continue their previous roles. These include high-ranking leaders such as Donna Harpauer as Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, and Jim Reiter as Minister of Energy and Resources, among others.
However, opposition NDP MLA Nicole Sarauer expressed concern that the reshuffle fails to resolve affordability issues, a focal point of her constituent’s grievances. She perceives the school’s parental consent policy as a smokescreen to divert attention from other critical matters.
In a parting note, both Morgan and Skoropad, who recently announced their decision to not seek re-election in 2024, have exited the cabinet. The province disclosed that Morgan will serve as the Provincial Secretary for the rest of his term. The total size of the cabinet remains unaltered at 18.
Describing the reshuffle as a significant shift, Premier Scott Moe emphasized the cyclic nature of politics—the departure of some and expected arrival of others leading up to the 2024 elections.