PRINCE ALBERT — The opposition New Democrats announced a shuffle of caucus assignments in advance of the return of the legislature at the end of the month.
The announcement was made by Opposition Leader Carla Beck in Prince Albert, where the New Democrats held their caucus meeting Oct. 5. The shuffling of caucus critic responsibilities comes on the heels of Nathaniel Teed’s victory in the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection earlier this month.
With his win, Teed has been named critic for Parks, Culture and Sport, Tourism, SLGA, SaskGaming and SGI. As well, Beck announced new critic posts have been created for affordability, jobs, and rural and remote health.
NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon, who holds the finance portfolio, will also serve as affordability critic. Wotherspoon also hold responsibilities for SaskTel, agriculture, highways and infrastructure, GTH and the Regina Bypass, SaskBuilds and procurement.
Aleana Young will be critic for jobs and the economy as well as for energy and resources. She also has responsibilities form trade and export development, immigration and SaskPower.
Matt Love will remain critic for education and seniors but adds rural and remote health to his responsibilities, and he also serves as caucus chair.
Health Critic Vicki Mowat will add deputy leader to her responsibilities, while Nicole Sarauer takes on Mowat’s former job as house leader. Sarauer also holds critic roles for justice and attorney general, corrections, policing and public safety, the Provincial Capital Commission, and labour.
For the other critics positions, Doyle Vermette holds northern affairs, mental health and addictions, associate critic for First Nations and Métis relations and whip; Jennifer Bowes is critic for advanced education, status of women, human rights and the Public Service Commission; Betty Nippi-Albright is critic for First Nations and Métis relations and truth and reconciliation, environment, and innovation and SRC; Meara Conway is critic for social services, housing and CBOs, childcare and early learning, Francophone affairs, ethics and democracy, and associate critic for education; and Erika Ritchie is critic for SaskEnergy, WSA and SaskWater, municipal affairs, and the Crown Investments Corporation.
Beck told reporters the caucus moves are being made to respond to concerns they heard from Saskatchewan people during their summer tour about the performance of Premier Scott Moe and the SaskParty, particularly on affordability and health care.
“Today’s critic shuffle is in direct response to the conversations we’ve had with the people of this great province,” said Beck. “We’ve heard that despite appointing a minister of rural and remote health, municipal leaders, health care workers and community members still feel unheard. They feel that their concerns to the Sask. Party go in one ear and out the other.”
On the affordability issue, Beck said that “while the Sask. Party has made life more expensive, raising taxes on energy and power bills while people are struggling to make ends meet, we have championed time and time again affordability relief.”