The Saskatchewan Party government has fired the chair of the Workers' Compensation Board — former New Democratic MP and MLA John Solomon.
Solomon's term was to end in July 2011, according to the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) website.
Lawyer David Eberle of Humboldt has been named the new WCB chair, the government said in a news release Friday morning.
Eberle has 20 years of experience in private practice in Humboldt and Melfort, the government said.
He has also owned and operated a business in Humboldt since 1981.
The WCB chair heads a three-person group involved in setting policies for the agency, which compensates injured workers.
Labour Minister Rob Norris said Solomon was fired without cause and will be offered an appropriate severance.
When Solomon was appointed WCB board chairman in 2001, the then-opposition Saskatchewan Party denounced it as a blatant patronage appointment.
Since winning last fall's election, the Saskatchewan Party government has dismissed dozens of people in the civil service. Some, like Solomon, have obvious past connections to the New Democrats. Others, according to the opposition NDP, have no particular political affiliation.
Norris said that it's normal for a new government to make its own appointments to boards and that the NDP did much the same thing when it was first elected.
More changes announced Friday
Later in the day Friday, the government announced more changes on Crown corporation boards.
Regina lawyer Warren Sproule was appointed the new chair of board of Saskatchewan Government Insurance.
Sproule is currently a managing partner in the Regina law firm Kanuka Thuringer LLP, where he specializes in corporate-commercial law.
Sproule replaces Peter Whitmore, who recently stepped down as SGI chair after being appointed a Queen's Bench judge.
There were also changes at Saskatchewan Gaming Corp., the Crown corporation responsible for Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw.
Regina banker Wes Becker was appointed the new chair. Before stepping down last year, Thomas Waller had been chair.