Saskatchewan Examiner

Wilson, an independent MLA, should resign, according to Premier Moe

Premier Moe believes Wilson, an independent MLA, should resign.

Key Takeaways:

  • During a question time debate about the contentious Bill 70, Premier Scott Moe suggested that independent MLA Nadine Wilson quit and run in a byelection.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said independent MLA Nadine Wilson should resign and run in a byelection during a question period debate that brought up the contentious Bill 70 and a decades-old instance of hidden camera spying.

“Many people are saying they didn’t vote for an independent member of the legislature because they don’t feel they’re being represented,” Moe said in the chamber Thursday morning before mentioning former NDP MLA Buckley Belanger’s decision to leave provincial politics as well as run for federal office, which triggered a byelection.

“Resign. Participate in a byelection. Request the people of the constituency’s support once more so that they have the right to represent them in this legislature.”

On the other hand, Wilson told reporters that she had no plans after the question period.

She claimed things in Saskatchewan Rivers are ‘business as usual,’ and she hasn’t received any requests for a byelection from her constituents.

Also read: After ‘strains’ of COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan doctors plan to limit clinical hours

Wilson made the remarks in response to a question about Bill 70’s motivations. The law, which the opposition has heavily criticized, aims to overhaul security at parliamentary buildings and grounds by limiting the independent sergeant-at-arms’ role to the chamber and creating a new security service to manage the rest of the building and neighboring grounds.

Wilson stood up and remarked, “It appears Bill 70 protects the state more than the citizenry.”

“Have any government employees, members, or caucus staff ever used mobile devices or other surveillance devices in government offices, elected officials’ offices, or legislative assembly offices?”

Following that, Moe stated that he was unaware of such an incident. Wilson went into specifics.

“What would the ministerial or staff ramifications be if someone deliberately conducted surveillance in the legislative assembly by installing a hidden camera in an MLA’s office?” Wilson enquired.

“Did the former Saskatchewan Party chief of staff, who is now a special adviser to the premier, mention that he had hidden a camera in the former Weyburn Big Muddy MLA’s office here in the legislature?” “Would Bill 70 be able to deal with this?”

Wilson speculated that the reported surveillance took place without the sergeant-at-arms’ knowledge and inquired what provisions Bill 70 would include in coping with such a situation.

Premier Moe believes Wilson, an independent MLA, should resign.
Premier Moe believes Wilson, an independent MLA, should resign. Image from CBC News

Former MLAs Jason Dearborn and Dennis Allchurch said they were notified in a caucus meeting by former Saskatchewan Party Chief of Staff Reg Downes that a surveillance exercise was conducted in an MLA’s office using a covert camera, according to affidavit documents filed by Wilson on Thursday. This month, the affidavits were signed.

Both Dearborn’s and Allchurch’s comments read, “The camera film indicated a theft by a party caucuses staff member in the office of the Weyburn-Big Muddy.”

The employee was not identified.

According to a 2007 Regina Leader-Post article, the event was admitted in the legislature in May of that year to have occurred in 2002 in former MLA Brenda Bakken-office; Lackey’s included a private security service, involved the theft of a $20 or $50 bill, and was not reported to the police.

“There was counsel given then by the sergeant-at-arms that likely might have been brought in earlier,” Moe said after the question period.

“We followed that instruction, but there hasn’t been an incidence since.”

Moe downplayed Wilson’s concerns about Bill 70 potentially allowing for the employment of private security firms, saying the new security agency would be “nonpartisan.”

“I don’t believe there’s been any suggestion in this legislature that private security would be used,” Moe said.

“I believe the discussion in this building has been about utilizing public officials as sheriffs.” They are apolitical. They’re now providing services that defend our courthouses and nonpartisan law enforcement services to the people of Saskatchewan.”

Source: Global News

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