The Scott Moe era has officially begun in Saskatchewan.
Less than a week after capturing the Saskatchewan Party leadership title, which subsequently resulted in him becoming Premier-elect, the MLA for Rosthern-Shellbrook was sworn in as the 15th Premier of the province Friday by Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield.
Soon after, the new premier introduced his first cabinet. While it includes a number of cabinet ministers remaining in their current roles - Donna Harpauer as Minister of Finance and Don Morgan as Minister of Justice - a few newcomers joined the cabinet table, such as Warren Kaeding as the Minister of Government Relations and Minister of First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs.
One name noticeably absent from the new provincial cabinet was Battlefords MLA Herb Cox. The veteran MLA served as the Minister of Advanced Education since October 2017, when then-minister Kevin Doherty resigned due to personal issues.
“I’m fine with the premier's decision,” Cox told battlefordsNOW. “There are some tremendous people in our party who have great credentials and I’m excited to see where we go from here as a government and as a province.”
The portfolio will now be handled by Regina University MLA Tina Beaudry-Mellor who ran against Moe in the Sask. Party leadership race.
“I fully support Premier Moe and have told him wherever he feels I can be of assistance is okay with me,” added Cox. “He did ask me to sit on some committees which I am more than happy to do.”
Also joining cabinet will be Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison who announced his bid for the leadership of the Sask. Party just days after Premier Brad Wall announced his retirement from politics. However, Harrison withdrew from the race on Sept. 1, two weeks after entering, and tossed his weight behind Moe. The former Minister of Finance now becomes Minister of Export and Trade Development and Minister of Immigration and Careers Training.
Also excluded from the new cabinet is Cut Knife-Turtleford MLA Larry Doke, who held the Minister of Government Relations and Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs portfolio, alongside Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk, the former Minister of the Economy, and Nancy Heppner, Minister of Energy Resources.
Moe’s cabinet will remain staffed at 17, on par with his predecessor.
The premier also called three byelections for March 1 to fill vacancies for seats in Kindersley (Bill Boyd), Melfort (Kevin Phillips) and Swift Current (Brad Wall).
The governing Sask. Party has 46 seats in the legislature with the NDP holding 12 seats and three vacancies.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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