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Former Saskatchewan Premier Grant Devine, shown in an undated file photo, is receiving the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. ((CBC))

Former Saskatchewan premier Grant Devine and 11 others will receive the province's highest honour, the Order of Merit, Lt.-Gov. Gordon Barnhart announced Friday.

All 12 have made "astounding contributions in their respective fields," Barnhart said.

Devine, 65, was Saskatchewan's premier for two terms, beginning in 1982. In 1991, his Progressive Conservative Party lost power to the NDP, led by Roy Romanow.

After that election, an expense allowance scandal erupted, implicating more than a dozen Tory caucus workers and members of the legislative assembly. Several high-profile members of Devine's government, including former deputy premier Eric Berntson, were convicted and did time in jail.

Devine withdrew from politics shortly after the 1991 election, but made a brief reappearance when he ran unsuccessfully in the federal election in 2004. The Saskatchewan Party now governs the province.

The other new recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit are:

  • Casimir Broda, a businessman from Kamsack.
  • Sharon Butala, a writer from Eastend now living in Calgary.
  • Alma Kytwayhat, a First Nations elder in Saskatoon.
  • Harold MacKay, a Regina lawyer.
  • Jack MacKenzie, a retired consultant from Regina.
  • David Millar, a Regina chiropractor.
  • Arne Petersen, a businessman from Emma Lake.
  • Linda Rudachyk, a social worker from Weyburn.
  • Lorne Scott, a former NDP politician and environmentalist from Indian Head.
  • William Shurniak, a retired financial adviser from Limerick.
  • Geoffrey Ursell, a writer and publisher from Saskatoon.

Ceremonies for the honours are scheduled for Nov. 5 in Saskatoon and Nov. 17 in Regina.