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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 

Premier Brad Wall 'Flip-Flops' Over Deputy Minister Appointment

Something ‘fishy’ happened at the very first Cabinet meeting of the new Brad Wall government. While it is not unusual to issue Orders In Council to name key new staff in the Wall administration, a little ‘flip flop’ happened with the appointment of a new Deputy Minister of the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. Former Saskatchewan Party Caucus employee, Iain Harry was named the new Deputy Minister, but the minute that the NDP Opposition questioned the appointment, Harry, it seems, was demoted!?

“Calvert was particularly concerned Monday because the attachment to the order-in-council making the appointment said Harry would serve as deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs, which handles the equalization file. However, a government media spokesperson said that was a clerical error and Harry would not have that civil service post. (Transition chair) Krawetz also said that he's not sure how the error occurred, but said putting Harry in that deputy minister role was never even part of the discussion. The NDP said it's still concerned with the appointment of Harry as a special adviser to Wall.”
Regina Leader Post

In spite of the flip flop, Iain Harry will be paid $12,500 per month for unspecified duties in the Wall government.

Mr. Harry was a longtime Saskatchewan Party Caucus employee who had a history of attracting controversy with the local news media over his ‘research’ results. Most recently, he had been working in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Office in Ottawa.

During the Grant Devine administration, (1982-1991), Brad Wall and Iain Harry served as Ministerial Assistants in various departments. Another ministerial assistant from the Devine era, Reg Downs, now serves as Chief of Staff to Premier Wall at a salary of $13,693 per month.

Progressive Bloggers

You are right on the money with this, it is amazing how fast Wall will alter his moves as soon as someone challenges him. What is worse is the amount of salaries paid out for patronage jobs!!

It is the connection between Iann Harry and the PMO that concerns me the most. Clearly, the Wall government is in the pocket of the Harper government. The fact that they tried to slip Harry into the department that is responsible for Equalization is almost comical!

$13,693 per month to be Chief of Staff to Wall? Over a $164,000 a year. Wow living in Regina, Reg is now one of the well-to-do. I thought inflated salaries were suppose attract the best and brightest?

I am in the wrong business. I really should have been a life long political hack. Of course, then I would have had to have served Hermanson in Opposition (ugh).

As to Iann Harry - it makes sense that he would be Intergovernmental. Staffers in Ottawa have long mused that if only the Sask. Party was in power, they would make a deal on equalization. Now they get to what they want: prop up their ideological provincial brethren, while giving Saskatchewan a deal that is less than what was promised, but which serves the purpose of diminishing the federal government's control over finances.

Note as well that as laughable as the Sask Party's explanation is, it wouldn't reflect much better on them even if it's true.

If you take the claim at face value, one of the first actions of the Wall government was to pass an order-in-council which sets out who's responsible for some of the most vital positions in the province, but which nobody bothered to check for accuracy. Which could be the start of a lasting theme that Wall and company have no clue what they're doing.

Yeah ... this was NOT an error! You don't make an error on a Cabinet Minute / Order-In-Council concerning the appointment of a new Deputy Minister. Something is going on here that needs careful scrutiny!

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