MLA Jeremy Harrison out of cabinet

by Phil Ambroziak

Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison is no longer a member of Premier Brad Wall’s provincial cabinet following a recent reorganization of government ministries.

Harrison, who served as provincial enterprise minister since June 2010, was one of several MLAs reassigned as part of the May 25 cabinet shuffle. Although Harrison was unavailable by press time to share his reaction to the change, NDP Athabasca MLA Buckley Belanger expressed his displeasure with the new cabinet postings.

“It’s a bit disturbing when you look at it and realize there were no MLAs from northern Saskatchewan selected for cabinet representation,” Belanger said. “It sends a very awkward signal.”

Harrison’s departure is largely tied to the biggest overall change to come about during the shuffle – the establishment of a new Ministry of the Economy, which brings together a number of economic functions of the government such as Enterprise Saskatchewan, Innovation Saskatchewan and Tourism Saskatchewan, as well as employment, immigration, trade, energy and resources.

Kindersley MLA Bill Boyd will serve as minister of the economy and minister responsible for SaskPower, while continuing in his role as minister responsible for the global transportation hub. Harrison, meanwhile, will continue to serve as government house leader outside of cabinet.

“We want to ensure the economic growth in Saskatchewan continues and that our government is meeting both the challenges and the opportunities of a growing province,” Wall said in a recent press release.

Belanger disagrees, however, describing any loss of a cabinet post as a demotion.

“Some of these ministers were not very effective in their portfolios,” he said.

Belanger went on to reiterate the government may decide to “recycle” Harrison and other outgoing cabinet ministers, but also described the shuffle as an “admission of failure.”

“Just look at the all the issues hitting home – things like the enterprise regions and the water and sewer issues in Meadow Lake,” Belanger said.

“People are concerned about these things and this blatant disregard for the region is a slap in the face to the people from the North who have supported the Saskatchewan Party.”

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