POLITICS

Saskatchewan premier gives 10 backbenchers new legislative secretary jobs

02/07/2013 12:31 EST | Updated 04/09/2013 05:12 EDT
REGINA - Ten backbenchers in the Saskatchewan government are getting new jobs.

Premier Brad Wall has appointed the MLAs as legislative secretaries — but they won't get any more money.

Among them is Saskatoon MLA Jennifer Campeau, who becomes legislative secretary to the education minister and will be responsible for an anti-bullying initiative.

Wall says he has also asked Campeau to chair a new premier's aboriginal youth task force.

"There's been a lot of things proposed in the past, programs governments have come up with to try to ... deal with cultural gap issues that sometimes mitigate or limit the amount of engagement that comes from the programs that are all well-intended," said Wall.

"Let's make sure we implement with the views and the advice of a group like Jennifer will be chairing."

Prince Albert MLA Darryl Hickie becomes legislative secretary to the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).

Wall has also asked Hickie, a former police officer, to set up an all-party legislative committee on improving traffic safety.

"They will include, but not be limited to, concerns we have around speeding, concerns we have around distracted driving that continue, drunk driving, impaired driving that is continuing as well," said Wall.

"We're not going to limit the committee's work though. There's other areas they may want to look at."

Wall noted that 2012 was the deadliest year ever on Saskatchewan highways with 175 traffic fatalities. The top two causes, according to SGI, were distracted driving and drunk driving.

MADD Canada has said impaired driving rates in Saskatchewan are the highest in the country. The latest numbers show there were 8.44 drunk-driving-related deaths per 100,000 people in Saskatchewan compared to 2.03 in Ontario.