Newspaper article The Canadian Press

More a Run Than a Shuffle: Major Overhaul of Cabinet in Saskatchewan: Major Overhaul of Saskatchewan Cabinet

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

More a Run Than a Shuffle: Major Overhaul of Cabinet in Saskatchewan: Major Overhaul of Saskatchewan Cabinet

Article excerpt

REGINA - A major restructuring of the Saskatchewan government began Friday when Premier Brad Wall made a cabinet shuffle that saw only two ministers keep their portfolios.

Wall said the restructuring fits with the government's plan for growth.

"Our government has long had a vision for growth that's informed what we've done, so that we can see the province's population continue to grow and jobs being created for Saskatchewan people," Wall said after the shuffle was announced.

"But I think there's some more work to be done in this regard in terms of sustaining the growth and being better ready for the challenges of growth in the province."

The official Opposition called the shuffle an "admission of failure" on the part of the government.

NDP Leader John Nilson said the failure is a result of Saskatchewan Party ministers alienating their constituents with uncooperative behaviour and no consultation.

Wall said he'll release the second phase of the Saskatchewan Party's long-term vision for the province this fall.

The biggest change is the creation of a new Ministry of the Economy. It will unite a number of economic agencies and functions including Enterprise Saskatchewan, Innovation Saskatchewan, Tourism Saskatchewan, employment, immigration, trade, energy and resources.

Bill Boyd, a Saskatchewan Party veteran, is leaving his post as energy minister to head up the new super-sized Ministry of the Economy.

"If we want our government to be about growth, it should function in that way. It should be set up in that way," said Wall.

Tim MacMillan becomes the new minister responsible for Energy and Resources, which becomes part of the Ministry of the Economy. MacMillan's post will be subordinate to Boyd's.

Saskatchewan's economy has been a national bright spot during the recent economic downturn.

Data released in April by the Statistics Canada showed Saskatchewan's economic growth in 2011 was its fastest in almost 15 years. The province's GDP grew by 4.8 per cent, second highest in the nation after Alberta and the best performance since the first year of this statistic in 1997.

Saskatchewan's unemployment rate in March 2012 was 4. …

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