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NDP calls for House Services Cmte. to look into Harrison allegations

Opposition Critic Meara Conway writes to Speaker Randy Weekes calling for House Services Committee to be convened to investigate allegations of bullying, harassment and guns at the Legislature.
Opposition Critic Meara Conway speaks to reporters on her letter sent May 28 to Speaker Randy Weekes.

REGINA - The opposition NDP are calling for the House Services Committee to be convened to appoint an independent investigator into allegations of bullying, harassment, long guns and handguns in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Opposition Ethics and Democracy Critic Meara Conway announced at a news conference Tuesday that a letter has been sent to Speaker Randy Weekes in which she requested him to urgently convene the Committee. 

In that letter, Conway pointed to the allegations raised by Weekes concerning the recently-resigned former Government House Leader Jeremy Harrison, in which Harrison was accused of and later admitted to bringing a long gun to the building.

“The presence of a firearm in the Legislative Assembly raises significant concerns for the safety and security of all members, staff, and visitors,” the letter states. “The possibility that a high-ranking member of the government caucus risked their safety and the integrity of the functioning of the Legislative Assembly is completely inappropriate and extremely alarming. “

Conway called the Speaker’s allegations “alarming,” adding “we know that one person in the Premier’s inner circle if not (Premier Scott) Moe himself has lied about them.”

“After 17 years the Sask Party has become entitled to think that the rules don’t apply to them to hold themselves and that’s why we are in need of an investigation.”

Conway said the House Services Committee has the authority to appoint an independent investigator, set the rules and parameters of any investigation, and give the investigator subpoena powers.

She added that the need for this was “only reinforced when we received responses to two of the three letters that I sent out last week, which did not result in any answers to our questions.”

Conway was referring to her letters sent last week to the office of Chief Firearms Officer Robert Freberg, and to the Legislative District Security Unit Director Dani Herman regarding the Speaker’s allegations. She said the correspondence from the Chief Firearms Officer’s counsel indicated they could not confirm or deny if records exist, and said the response from Herman was “not responsive to our questions.”

“It reinforced the need to go this route,” said Conway of the need to convene the House Services Committee.

Convening the committee will still require the Sask Party majority to vote in favor of it. Conway said their hope was that Premier Moe would instruct his members on the committee to cooperate and “shine a light on the facts of this as soon as possible.”

“There is an alleged culture of bullying and harassment at the core of Scott Moe’s Sask Party caucus," said Conway. "Minister Harrison remains one of the most senior ministers, and essentially the face of Saskatchewan to international investors and trade partners despite the fact that he is now an established liar and has displayed conduct that falls well below what we would expect from any minister of the Crown. After 17 years, enough is enough. This government is dysfunctional, and we need to get it working again for the people of Saskatchewan.“