Regina – Bronwyn Eyre was sworn in on Feb. 2 as the new Minister of Energy and Resources, as well as Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy and SaskWater.
Along with her appointment comes a change in the ministry’s name. Several years ago, the Ministry of Energy and Resources was subsumed by what was the then-new Ministry of Economy. The letterhead and business cards of the staff all said “Ministry of Economy.” But there were actually two ministers – one overall for Economy, which included many aspects of what used to be called economic development, and one which focused on energy and resources within the ministry. It led to the curious situation of having two ministers for essentially the same thing, at least when it came to the oil and gas industry. Thus, at various events, one could see either the Minister of Economy or Minister of Energy and Resources show up.
The “Economy” name is gone now, and the Ministry of Economy, which had been an amalgamation of several previous ministries, has now been split into the Ministry of Export and Trade Development, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training, and Ministry of Energy and Resources. Jeremy Harrison is responsible for the first two areas and Eyre is responsible for the third.
Energy and Resources will be more regulatory-related, whereas promotion of the industry will fall under Export and Trade Development.
One of Premier Scott Moe’s campaign initiatives was to focus on trade by setting up a new Ministry of Export and Trade Development. Harrison, who had been Minister of Economy, now takes up that position and that of and Minister of Immigration and Careers Training.
Harrison, an early entry into the race for the Saskatchewan Party leadership, had withdrawn from the leadership race himself and threw his support behind Moe.
Harrison said on Feb. 2 Export and Trade Development will be a dedicated, stand-alone ministry responsible for coordination within government looking after investment development. He said it will result in more focus and, ultimately, Saskatchewan’s exports continuing to grow, which they have been doing at a record pace.
Immigration will be part of Harrison’ focus as well, as Premier Moe’s stated goal is 1.5 million people by 2030.
In her previous role as Minister of Education, Eyre attracted some controversy regarding treaty education in the classrooms. Asked in a scrum on Feb. 2 if that was a factor in her changing ministries, Moe told reporters it wasn’t, adding, “Minister Eyre will do a good job in Energy and Resources. I look forward to working with her there in a very important role. Most notably, just in the last couple of days, with the conversation around slowing up the pipelines in Western Canada here. So Minister Eyre has a very important role to play here in advancing the economy here, in the province of Saskatchewan, in making sure our goods get to market.”
Eyre’s biography on the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan website states, “Bronwyn Eyre was elected MLA for Saskatoon Stonebridge-Dakota in the 2016 provincial election.
“A former radio broadcaster and columnist, Bronwyn also served as a Saskatoon public school board trustee. Previously, she was a senior writer/editor for UK-based legal publications Commercial Lawyer and European Lawyer. She attended McGill University and the University of Saskatchewan (BA’93, LL.B.’96) and speaks French, German, and Italian.
Eyre was previously Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, and before that, she served as Minister of Advanced Education.