Doherty out of Finance, 4 new faces in Sask. cabinet
Premier Brad Wall announced a cabinet shuffle on Wednesday
Premier Brad Wall announced a cabinet shuffle at Government House in Regina Wednesday morning.
Five cabinet ministers resigned this month, with four announcing their bids to lead the Saskatchewan Party, and become the next premier of the province to replace Wall, who is retiring.
Alanna Koch, the deputy minister to the premier, is also taking a leave of absence to run and has been replaced by Kent Campbell.
Doherty leaves Finance
Kevin Doherty has been moved from his post as Minister of Finance and will instead manage the Advanced Education portfolio.
At a media scrum on Wednesday, Wall and Doherty both said it was Doherty's choice to change portfolios.
When asked if the decision was due to criticism of the most recent provincial budget, Doherty said that was not the case. He added the portfolio was a large responsibility and he was looking to try something else.
He also said he had talked to Wall about leaving cabinet altogether, but decided to take on Advanced Education, a portfolio he has handled in the past.
Cabinet ministers with new portfolios
- Justice and Attorney General: Don Morgan
- Finance: Donna Harpauer
- Advanced Education: Kevin Doherty
- Education/Status of Women: Bronwyn Eyre
- Environment/SaskPower, SaskWater, the Water Security Agency and the Global Transportation Hub: Dustin Duncan
Returning to cabinet
Nancy Heppner — Energy and Resources, Public Service Commission
Heppner graduated from Saskatoon Business College in 1994.
She first started in federal politics, working for then-Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar MP Carol Skelton in 2001.
The Martensville-Warman MLA was initially elected in a 2007 byelection and was re-elected in the 2007, 2011 and 2016 provincial elections.
She has served as a cabinet minister previously, on the Environment, Central Services and Highways and Infrastructure portfolios.
4 new to cabinet
Paul Merriman — Social Services, government deputy house leader
Merriman was born and raised in Toronto but has lived in Saskatchewan for nearly 30 years.
He was the executive director of the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre before he entered politics.
The Saskatoon Silverspring-Sutherland MLA was first elected to the Saskatchewan legislature in 2011 and was re-elected in 2016.
Merriman has previously served as the government house leader and government whip.
Steven Bonk — Tourism Saskatchewan, Innovation and Trade
Bonk is serving his first term as MLA for Moosomin.
He has worked on four continents as a consultant in agricultural management and policy development. His family owns a custom grazing and livestock business near Wolseley.
Bonk has served as a member of the standing committee on the economy, and he was previously a member of the public accounts committee.
Larry Doke — First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs
Doke was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in the 2011 provincial election and was re-elected in 2016.
The Cut Knife-Turtleford MLA lives in the resort village of Metinota where he has served as a councillor.
Doke is the former owner and operator of Fairview Dodge in North Battleford.
He has served as legislative secretary to the Minister of Highways and as a member of the public accounts committee.
Gene Makowsky — Parks, Culture and Sport; Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
MLA for Regina Gardiner Park holds a degree in education from the University of Saskatchewan.
He spent 17 years playing offensive line with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and was part of the team that won the Grey Cup in 2007.
Makowsky was first elected to the legislature in 2011 and was re-elected in the 2016 provincial election. He has served as deputy whip, chair of the standing committee on economy, as well as a member of the house services committee.
"This new cabinet provides a strong balance of experience and new perspectives as our government goes through the transition period leading to the selection of the new premier early in 2018," Premier Brad Wall said in an emailed statement.
Greg Brkich was named the new government house leader. Warren Kaeding becomes legislative secretary to the minister responsible for SaskTel (Cellular and Internet Coverage) in addition to his current duties as legislative secretary to the minister of agriculture (Irrigation Expansion).
The overall size of the cabinet remains at 17, including the premier.
Wall has said he will stay on as premier until his party elects a new leader.
He announced his retirement Aug. 10. A replacement is expected to be chosen at the Sask. Party's leadership convention in January.