Former Sask. finance minister dies

Well-known Saskatchewan politician Ed Tchorzewski has died of cancer.

Well-known Saskatchewan politician Ed Tchorzewski has died of cancer.

Tchorzewski, 65, was an NDP MLA for 25 years, representing constituencies in Humboldt and Regina.

A school teacher before he entered politics, Tchorzewski was also a former deputy premier, as well as minister of finance, education, health and municipal government, among other portfolios.

"Ed Tchorzewski had a long and distinguished career serving the people of Saskatchewan in many different capacities, and the province owes him and his family a debt of gratitude for his many years of service," Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Friday.

Tchorzewski served under NDP premiers Allan Blakeney and Roy Romanow.

As finance minister in 1992, Tchorzewski inherited an almost billion-dollar deficit from the previous Progressive Conservative government. He brought in an austere budget, loaded with tax increases and spending cuts, to set the government on the road to balancing its books.

After leaving elected office in the late 1990s, Tchorzewski worked in the political back rooms. He was chief of staff to former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough, an NDP campaign manager in the 1999 provincial election and a special advisor to Romanow.  In 2004, he was the Saskatchewan NDP's provincial secretary.

Flags at the provincial legislature were flying at half mast on Friday. Wall said that will continue until after Tchorzewski's funeral. Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.