Sask. government announces big civil service shakeup

The Saskatchewan Party government is shaking up the civil service this week, giving pink slips to eight deputy ministers.

The Saskatchewan Party government is shaking up the civil service this week, giving pink slips to eight deputy ministers.

That's about half of the deputy ministers in the provincial civil service. Deputy ministers are the senior civil servants in the provincial departments who work closely with the ministers, who are politicians.

After the NDP took power in 1991, many of the deputies received their walking papers.

Now it's the Saskatchewan Party's turn to put their stamp on the civil service. One of the changes is to refer to government departments as ministries.

Among those leaving is John Wright, the former president of SaskPower and former finance and health deputy who had been a major part of the publicservice for decades.

Also leaving are:

  • Bill Craik, the former deputy minister of labour.
  • Bonnie Durnford, the former deputy minister of advanced education and employment.
  • Harvey Brooks, the former deputyminister of agriculture.
  • Barbara McLean, the deputy minister of culture, youth and recreation.
  • Lily Stonehouse, the deputy minister of government relations.
  • Richard Gladue, the deputy minister of First Nations and Metis Relations.
  • Deb McDonald, former deputy minister of the property management and a one-time chief of staff for former premier Lorne Calvert.

Their replacements will be a combination of existing senior civil servants and new people.

The government says it has launched a Canada-wide search for the next deputy minister of health, but for the time being the acting deputy will be Gren Smith-Windsor.

Coming in to the education ministry is new deputy Audrey Roadhouse. She replaces Wynne Young, who moves to the ministry of advanced education, employment and labour.

Van Isman, formerly chief executive officer of the Wascana Centre Authority, becomes the deputy in the ministry of tourism, parks, culture and sport.

Elizabeth Quarshie of Alberta becomes the deputy minister of environment.

Dale Botting, former president of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) becomes the deputy minister of enterprise and innovation and will lead the team to create Enterprise Saskatchewan. That's the agency the Saskatchewan Party said it wanted to handle economic development in the province.

In the agriculture ministry, the new deputy is Alanna Koch. Terry Coleman, the former Moose Jaw chief of police, becomes the deputy of the Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing.

The government has been in transition since Nov. 7 when the Saskatchewan Party won the election, taking 38 of 58 seats.