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Young brings experience as new Minister of Advanced Education

Longtime Lloydminster MLA has vast experience in education including school board experience
Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young stands with Premier Scott Moe after being sworn in as Minister of Advanced Education.

REGINA - Colleen Young is now officially a member of Executive Council after being tapped to be the new Minister of Advanced Education.

“I am honoured to serve the people of Saskatchewan. I’m honoured that the Premier has chosen me to be a minister of advanced education,“ said Young following her swearing-in on Friday. “As we all know, we serve our constituents, but we also serve all the people of this province.”

Young was sworn in by the Chief Administrator for the province, Chief Justice Robert Leurer, during a brief ceremony at Government House. Her husband Kim Young, a longtime provincial court judge in Lloydminster, was also on hand.

Young takes over from outgoing Minister of Advanced Education Gord Wyant, who had asked to step down  from cabinet but will remain an MLA until the provincial election. Wyant’s departure is sure to fuel even more speculation that he is about to announce his candidacy to run for mayor of Saskatoon, which is not yet confirmed.

Young has waited patiently for a cabinet position, having been an MLA since a by-election win in 2014. Young got the call the day before and said she was “surprised,” but “happy and honoured to serve in any capacity the Premier asked me to."

As for what her priorities will be in the role, Young said there was “a lot that’s been already put in place and ongoing, and I am eager to dive in and learn at where those priorities are at. But this time I haven’t had a chance to look at the file.”

She indicated that getting knowledgeable about the file will be her immediate priority. There will also be work to do on ongoing initiatives including training seats for health care.

Premier Scott Moe was at the swearing in, and he told reporters he thought Young was “well suited” to the role. “She’ll have much to add in the way of relationship building, in the way of working with our post-secondary sector,” said Moe.

Young had previously served as a trustee on the Lloydminster Public School Board for 20 years, 16 of those as the chair. She also served briefly on the Senate of the University of Saskatchewan, and had attended the University of Saskatchewan as did her husband and eight children.

Young’s appointment was the only cabinet change made that day. When asked why there were no further cabinet changes with an election looming, Premier Moe said he was “very comfortable with the cabinet we have,” and said he was not interested in making “political” appointments in the leadup to an election.

“We have three individuals that will continue to serve until the election that are not running again, but I think that would give you the degree of confidence I have not only in them, but the entirety of cabinet.”