Major reorganization in provincial cabinet shuffle

Premier Brad Wall has shuffled his cabinet and as predicted, it's a big one.

In what has been called a major reorganization of government, one new portfolio has been created and several familiar faces have been moved and even dropped from cabinet in the shuffle announced Friday morning,

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The major change to cabinet, and one affecting Northwest region MLAs, is the creation of a new Ministry of the Economy.

Kindersley MLA Bill Boyd takes over as Minister of the Economy, which will bring together a number of different functions of the government including Enterprise Saskatchewan, Innovation Saskatchewan, Tourism Saskatchewan, employment, immigration, trade, energy and resources. Boyd also takes over as minister responsible for SaskPower and remains minister responsible for the Global Transportation Hub.

As part of that reorganization, Lloydminster MLA Tim McMillan will take over as minister for Energy and Resources, Tourism Saskatchewan and Trade within the Economy Ministry. McMillan also becomes minister responsible for SaskEnergy.

Those two ministers will assume responsibilities over some areas undergoing major restructuring at the moment. Tourism Saskatchewan is in the midst of being turned into a Crown corporation; at the same time the province is getting out of funding for the enterprise regions.

Another major change is a major promotion for another Northwest region MLA. Veteran Biggar MLA Randy Weekes is elevated to cabinet for the first time as minister for Rural and Remote Health.

Weekes had previously served as the government whip in the legislature. He will be serving in the new portfolio under Weyburn MLA Dustin Duncan, who has taken over as the new Minister of Health.

Duncan takes over health from its longtime minister Don McMorris, who now moves over to become Minister of Highways and Infrastructure in the new scheme of things. McMorris also takes over as minister responsible for SaskTel, STC, the Information Services Corporation as well as Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation.

Lyle Stewart returns to cabinet and takes over the important Agriculture portfolio from retiring Bob Bjornerud, who earlier announced he was leaving cabinet to concentrate on his MLA duties.

Other changes see Don Morgan shifted from Justice to Advanced Education, while retaining Labour Relations and Workplace Safety; Donna Harpauer moves from Education to Minister of Crown Investments, Minister responsible for SGI and minister for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority; Ken Cheveldayoff takes over Environment; and Jim Reiter moves over from the highways file to become minister of Government Relations and Minister for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs.

In addition to Weekes, additions to cabinet include Gordon Wyant as minister of Justice; Russ Marchuk as minister of Education, and Kevin Doherty as minister of Parks, Culture and Sport and minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission.

Several ministers are also departing cabinet including Jeremy Harrison, Bill Hutchinson, Rob Norris, Darryl Hickie, Laura Ross, and Yogi Huyghebaert. Christine Tell and Nancy Heppner return to cabinet.

The only ministers staying put in their portfolios are Ken Krawetz as deputy premier and minister of Finance and June Draude at social services. In all, the cabinet remains at 18, the same as it has been throughout the government's terms in office.

There have also been several changes outside cabinet, with Rosthern-Shellbrook MLA Scott Moe taking on responsibilities as deputy chair of Public Accounts. Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison will be Government House Leader outside cabinet.

Greg Ottenbreit takes over from Weekes as government whip while Gene Makowsky takes on responsibilities as deputy whip.

The full list of the new cabinet:

Hon. Brad Wall Premier, President of the Executive Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Hon. Ken Krawetz Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance

Hon. Bill Boyd Minister of the Economy, Minister Responsible for The Global Transportation Hub Authority, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Power Corporation

Hon. June Draude Minister of Social Services, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women

Hon. Don McMorris Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Telecommunications, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Transportation Company, Minister Responsible for Information Services Corporation, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation

Hon. Don Morgan, Q.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board

Hon. Donna Harpauer Minister of Crown Investments, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

Hon. Dustin Duncan Minister of Health

Hon. Gordon Wyant, Q.C. Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Deputy Government House Leader

Hon. Tim McMillan Minister Responsible for Energy and Resources, Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan, Minister Responsible for Trade, Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Incorporated

Hon. Ken Cheveldayoff Minister of Environment, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Water Corporation

Hon. James Reiter Minister of Government Relations, Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs

Hon. Russ Marchuk Minister of Education

Hon. Lyle Stewart Minister of Agriculture, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation

Hon. Nancy Heppner Minister of Central Services, Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission, Minister Responsible for the Lean Initiative

Hon. Christine Tell Minister Responsible for Corrections and Policing

Hon. Randy Weekes Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health

Hon. Kevin Doherty Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission.

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