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Opposition up in arms over Human Rights Commission appointments

Opposition Critic Meara Conway accuses Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre of appointing her riding association President to Human Rights Commission
Opposition critic Meara Conway seen speaking to reporters on Nov. 10.

REGINA - The Sask Party government is under fire again over recent appointments to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

At a news conference Monday, NDP Ethics and Democracy Critic Meara Conway slammed Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre for appointing Alan Thomarat to the Human Rights Commission last month. 

In a news release, the NDP noted Thomarat served as co-President of Eyre’s local Saskatchewan Party constituency and has made donations to the Sask Party of $500 in 2016, $500 in 2019 and $1,000 in 2020, and to Eyre’s campaigns in amounts of $500 in 2016 and $1,000 in 2020. 

Last week, the Opposition cried foul again on word that another one of the appointees, Mubarik Syed, is seeking the Sask. Party candidate in Saskatoon Southeast, the riding currently held by the departing Don Morgan.

“The commission needs to be independent, but it can’t when it’s stacked with Sask. Party insiders. That’s like if you let someone accused of a crime pick the judge and put their best friends on the jury,” said Conway in a news release. “The people of Saskatchewan deserve a commission that is independent of political influence and can be trusted.”

The composition of the Human Rights commission has been under scrutiny from the Opposition ever since Eyre opted not to reappoint members of the existing Board, instead appointing an entirely new group of seven Commissioners earlier this year. 

Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan United Party has issued a news release of their own accusing Eyre of having “once again displayed a blatant disregard for ethical standards.” The party called the appointment of Thomarat “a glaring example of a conflict of interest, given the appointee's role in the Minister's election campaign.”

“The continuous stream of controversies and financial irregularities under Moe’s government has led to a significant erosion of public trust. Saskatchewan deserves a government that upholds the highest standards of ethics and accountability, not one that indulges in self-serving practices at the cost of public interest and justice.” Said Nadine Wilson, Sask United leader, in a statement.