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NDP demands answers on gun accusations against Harrison

Opposition Critic Meara Conway writes letters to security officials demanding answers to questions about Jeremy Harrison and firearms.
Opposition critic Meara Conway speaks to reporters at the Legislature May 23.

REGINA - The opposition New Democrats are demanding answers to allegations raised by Speaker Randy Weekes about Government House Leader Jeremy Harrison and guns. 

It’s been seven days since Weekes unloaded on government leadership in his final address to the Assembly to close the sitting, one in which Weekes called out Sask Party leadership and accused them of bullying, threatening behavior — and in the case of Harrison, of bringing a hunting rifle to the legislature.

In response, Official Opposition Ethics and Democracy Critic Meara Conway spoke to reporters Thursday about letters that she sent to the Sergeant at Arms Lyall Fredriksen, to the Chief Firearms Officer Robert Freberg, and to the Legislative District Security Unit Director Dani Herman regarding the allegations. In her letter dated May 23, Conway asked the Sergeant at Arms and Legislative District Security Unit the following questions: has Harrison ever requested permission to carry a handgun into the legislative assembly; has Harrison ever received authorization to carry a handgun into the legislative assembly; has Harrison ever carried a handgun into the assembly; and has Harrison ever brought a long gun into the legislative assembly.

To the Chief Firearms Officer, Conway asked if Harrison ever requested an authorization to carry a handgun in Saskatchewan, has he ever received an authorization to carry a handgun in Saskatchewan, and if Harrison has ever been granted an authorization to carry, what was the rationale for granting it.

“The Saskatchewan NDP remains incredibly concerned about unanswered questions, and the lack of action from the Sask Party government in allegations of bullying, threatening, and even guns in the legislature,” Conway said to reporters at the Legislature.

“We’re now nearly a week on and we have nothing but unanswered questions regarding what the Speaker Randy Weekes shared.“

There was also a different question Conway wanted to pose to Premier Scott Moe: where was Jeremy Harrison?

“He could clear the air today, he could’ve cleared the air already, but he’s hiding,” said Conway. “Where is Jeremy Harrison and why isn’t he speaking to these very serious allegations?”

Conway went on to blast the Sask Party over the series of scandals they had faced with their MLAs, saying “people are sick of the Sask. Party soap opera.”

On Wednesday in Regina, Opposition Leader Carla Beck also spoke on the allegations from Speaker Weekes and she said an “investigation into those allegations is warranted.” She also called out Harrison for not being made available to the media.

“I think that is very concerning. If I were in charge of that particular Minister, you’d expect to see him in front of the camera answering to these allegations.”

Last Friday, Premier Moe spoke to reporters about the allegations against Harrison and said he had been assured those were “unequivocally false.”

Moe has also previously characterized Weekes remarks as “sour grapes” and as coming from “a sore loser” after Weekes was defeated in a nomination fight in Kindersley-Biggar on Dec. 14. 

"It's only after Dec. 14 that he seems to have this newfound concern with respect to one member, maybe not even a party, but one member in the Legislature," said Moe on Friday,

As for whether there should an investigation into firearms, Moe has said if it were raised by the Legislative District Security Unit or the Sergeant at Arms, "I'm sure there were investigatory options they might look at if they have a concern." But Moe said it was not for him to direct an investigation.

"It's not whether or not I would like to see an investigation or not. If this is raised to the appropriate authorities, and they view that there should be an investigation, they would make that decision, not the Premier, not anyone else."