Saskatoon

Sask. cabinet minister's son no longer being appointed to education committee

The provincial NDP says the son of a provincial cabinet minister should not have been considered for a spot on a committee reviewing the province's education system.

Committee will review curriculum and graduation requirements in Sask. over the next 3 years

The son of cabinet minister Joe Hargrave, pictured here, was given a seat on the committee reviewing Saskatchewan's education curriculum. (CBC News)

The son of a provincial cabinet minister won't sit on a committee reviewing the province's education system — but the Saskatchewan NDP says he should never have been considered for the position at all.

That's one of several concerns raised about the committee, which begins its review of the elementary and high school curriculum and graduation requirements this week.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and the Opposition NDP are concerned about the lack of representation from workers.

They note there are four committee spots for chamber of commerce officials.

"Our public education system should be focused on holistic learning and building critical-thinking skills in our young people," said Lori Johb, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president. 

"To be successful, they need more than one-sided views from corporate representatives."

NDP opposition critic Carla Beck says the son of cabinet minister Joe Hargrave should not have been given a seat on the committee reviewing Saskatchewan's education curriculum. (CBC)

NDP education critic Carla Beck agreed, and said she was also concerned one of those chamber of commerce officials originally announced as part of the committee was the son of cabinet minister Joe Hargrave.

Beck called the appointment "special treatment for those who have direct family ties to cabinet ministers," adding it was the second time this month questions have been raised about benefits given to children of cabinet ministers.

She noted a company partly owned by the son of Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell is renting space in the Global Transportation Hub at below market rates.

In a statement late Tuesday,  Gord Wyant, the deputy premier and minister of education, said Hargrave's son would not be on the committee after all.

"We have been informed that the Prince Albert Chamber of Commerce has made the decision to change the representative that they chose for the Curriculum Advisory Committee," the statement reads.

"We look forward to receiving their new nominee."

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour President Lori Johb said a provincial education committee has too many business representatives and hardly anyone who speaks for workers. (Submitted by Lori Johb)

Johb said there's also insufficient representation of Indigenous people, newcomers and the LGBTQ community on the committee.

In a statement Monday, the government said it looks forward to hearing from all groups, including the business community.

The committee is due to report to the education minister three years from now.

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