In the aftermath of Premier Brad Wall’s resignation, several ministers have resigned in order to run in the upcoming election for the Saskatchewan Party’s new leader. As a result, Kevin Doherty has been reinstated as minister of advanced education.
Doherty, who served as minister of advanced education until he became minister of finance in 2015, discusses his relationship with the University of Saskatchewan in an email to the Sheaf.
“Having previously served as minister of advanced education, I feel that I have built strong working relationships with Saskatchewan’s post-secondary partners, including the U of S,” Doherty said. “In my time as minister, I know the U of S has always been a cooperative and engaging partner.”
Kirsten Samson, a third-year political studies student and member of the University Student Council for the College of Arts and Science, speaks about the importance of student engagement with the new minister of advanced education.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to focus on holding government accountable,” Samson said. “That means reaching out to the newly appointed minister and expressing your concerns.”
Although the new provincial budget that was released earlier this year has caused some concern among students, Minister Doherty explains that he will do his best to address students’ concerns.
“One of the priorities as minister is to ensure that Saskatchewan’s post-secondary-education system remains accessible, responsive, affordable and sustainable for all students,” Doherty said. “I intend on continuing to ensure that our post-secondary system remains vibrant and strong.” Samson believes that if students work together to engage with the provincial government, their concerns about the budget will be addressed.
“I think that what we’ll be seeing from the provincial budget could make things a little bit tougher for students right now, but I think that we also need to keep in mind that, when we do come together and apply pressure, we do have the power to get the government to listen to us,” Samson said.
Doherty has spent the last several years as minister of finance, but due to the changing nature of ministerial roles, he feels that this is the right time for him to switch positions within cabinet.
“After serving six years on [the] treasury board, I was prepared to look at a different role in cabinet,” Doherty said. “Since we are going through a transition time in party leadership, I thought now is an appropriate time for this change.”
With Minister Doherty’s recent switch, Samson would like to see both the minister and the university work towards a better relationship between the government and U of S students.
“I would really like to see some renewed connection between students and the government, so that we can get more engaged and so that we can feel as if our voices are being listened to, because that’s the purpose of government,” Samson said.
Doherty hopes the coming year will be a success and is confident in his new role, as he is already familiar with the position of minister of advanced education.
“In the coming months, I look forward to getting reacquainted with the file and I look forward to working to ensure that our post-secondary system remains strong and accessible,” Doherty said. “I’d like to wish students every success, as they embark on a new academic year.”
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor