After some recent cabinet changes, announced by Premier Scott Moe last week, MLA for Estevan Lori Carr became the new minister of Government Relations, the minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, and minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission.
The new posting is something Carr didn’t see coming but always wanted.
“I’m really excited about getting this new posting. Government Relations is something that when I went into the Legislature I had my eye on,” said Carr.
Prior to these recent changes, Carr had been the minister of Highways and Infrastructure.
“Obviously I was in the Ministry of Highways and I had just about one full year under my belt. I was really getting to know the portfolio and really starting to get engaged with all of the stakeholders on a better level. If I had more time on that portfolio, it would have been good. Having said that, Government Relations is something that I’ve always wanted. It’s something that I had my eye on, so I’m really excited to be moving there,” said Carr.
She believes that such shuffles are useful as they help to build a stronger government.
“I think having the opportunity to move portfolios, no matter what portfolio you are in, is actually good for a stronger government and a stronger cabinet, because now I have the insight from the inner workings of Highways, and now that I’m over in Government Relations, First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, and the Provincial Capital Commission, it will give me a bigger insight from the inner workings of those ministries. So the more each minister or MLA knows in-depth about the portfolio it will truly just make for a stronger government,” said Carr.
And while Carr is taking the new posting, Greg Ottenbreit will take over her former portfolio, becoming the minister of Highways and Infrastructure, as well as the minister responsible for the Water Security Agency. He previously served as the minister responsible for Rural and Remote Health.
Carr believes the changes in the cabinet won’t affect the situation with highway repairs in the Estevan area or anywhere else.
“Anything that is on the books or has been scheduled to start will carry on down the schedule that is going to happen,” said Carr. “Of course the new minister always has discretion. We don’t cancel projects without a really, really good reason. And these projects are on the books because they need to be done and they will continue.”
She assured the public that all ongoing projects including the passing lanes between Estevan and Regina, resurfacing of Highway 47 south up to the U.S. border and Highway 18 between Torquay and Oungre will continue.
“There is a plan that is in place and that will get turned over to the new minister,” said Carr. “I believe that minister Ottenbreit will keep the plan probably completely the same as we have been going down in the past. Simply because the rationale why the projects are on the list is sound and there is no reason for them to be moving.”
In the near future, as the new minister of Government Relations, the minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, and minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission, Carr plans to focus on getting to know her stakeholders.
“(The main focus) truly will be building relationships with my stakeholders. I always have an open-door policy. When someone calls I never turn down meetings. I will get to know my stakeholders and what their needs are,” Carr said.
Another minister who was affected by the latest cabinet changes was Warren Kaeding. He became minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health. Kaeding also becomes minister responsible for Seniors, a new cabinet responsibility that ensures Saskatchewan seniors have a dedicated voice at the cabinet table. Kaeding previously served as Minister of Government Relations.