There was a big cabinet shuffle in Regina on Friday, with seven people in, seven out and a slew of portfolio changes.
New to Premier Brad Wall's 18-member cabinet are:
- Gordon Wyant, minister of justice.
- Kevin Doherty, minister of parks, culture and sports.
- Russ Marchuk, minister of education.
- Randy Weekes, minister of rural and remote health.
A backbencher who becomes a cabinet minister gets a pay bump: $46,738 added to their $91,800 MLA's salary.
3 former ministers return
Returning to cabinet after a stint in the back benches are:
- Christine Tell, minister of corrections and policing.
- Nancy Heppner, minister of central services.
- Lyle Stewart, agriculture minister.
The seven who've been dropped from cabinet, and their former portfolios, include:
- Bill Hutchinson (tourism, parks, culture and sport).
- Yogi Huyghebaert (corrections, public safety and policing).
- Laura Ross (government services).
- Rob Norris (advanced education, employment and immigration).
- Jeremy Harrison (enterprise).
- Darryl Hickie (municipal affairs).
- Bob Bjornerud (agriculture).
Norris departure a surprise
Of the seven who were dropped, the only sure thing was Bjornerud, who had told Wall he did not want to be included in the next cabinet.
Hutchinson, on the other hand, had been constantly in the news in recent weeks defending his government's decision to end the province's $8-million film tax credit program.
Among the biggest surprises was the departure of Norris, previously seen by some as a key member of Wall's cabinet.
Of the 11 holdovers, including Wall, eight are getting new portfolios. Perhaps the biggest promotion goes to Dustin Duncan, formerly the minister of environment.
He takes over health from Don McMorris, who goes to highways.
"He is who he seems to be," Wall said of Duncan. "He's a humble, hard-working and thoughtful individual."
Duncan promised to work hard in the portfolio.
"I feel like it's a big vote of confidence that the Premier has in my abilities," he said. "And I'm just going to work as hard as I can in the time that I have in this position to ensure that that confidence is well-placed."
Boyd now in charge of new ministry
Other holdovers who move to new duties (and their previous main portfolios) include:
- Bill Boyd, minister of the economy (energy and resources).
- Don Morgan, minister of advanced education (justice).
- Donna Harpauer, minister of Crown investments (education).
- Tim McMillan, minister responsible for energy and resources (Crown Investments Corp.).
- Jim Reiter, minister of government relations (highways).
- Ken Cheveldayoff, minister of environment (First Nations and Métis affairs).
June Draude, minister of social services, and Ken Krawetz, minister of finance and deputy premier, keep the main portfolios they previously held.
Women make up four of the 18 positions in Wall's cabinet.
Of the cities where the Saskatchewan Party has MLAs, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Yorkton and North Battleford are unrepresented in the new cabinet.
The shuffle also reorganizes government and creates some new departments, including the Ministry of Central Services, the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Rural and Remote Health.