Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has tapped Cam Swan as the new Deputy Minister to the Premier.
Swan replaces Kent Campbell, who held the position on an interim basis since August 2017. Campbell had replaced Alanna Koch, who vacated the position to run for leadership of the Saskatchewan Party.
Moe said he’s worked with Swan extensively in the past, including during his time as Minister of Environment. He said that familiarity helped make Swan the right choice, as did his leadership ability.
“I think Cam is a leader by example,” the premier said during a media scrum on Thursday. “He is a person who builds bridges as opposed to blowing them up and I think that is precisely what we need to lead the public service at this point in time.”
Swan has held a number of senior positions during 27 years in the civil service, all but three of them being in Saskatchewan. His most recent posting was as President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), a post he’s held since May 2017.
“I’m very excited to take it on, and quite frankly, I’m even honoured just to be considered for the role,” Swan said. “I’m looking forward to the role.”
Both Moe and Swan said his first priority will be so shore up the province’s competitiveness, especially with the federal government renegotiating NAFTA. Moe told reporters that carbon taxation and environmental regulations would also be a major focus, something he thinks Swan is well equipped to oversee.
Swan said he doesn’t view himself as an expert, but believes his leadership can help create a more cohesive civil service where all the pieces work together.
“A lot of people know me, for better or worse, so familiarity will, hopefully, breed a little comfort,” he said.
Swan added that he has no plans to reach out to Koch for any advice about his new role. However, he did say he learned a lot from working with her and former interim minister Kent Campbell.
With Swan taking over the position, Campbell will now move to Deputy Minister of Trade and Development.
Two other moves were also announced on Thursday. Innovation Saskatchewan CEO Wes Jickling was appointed Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, while Clare Isman takes over Swan’s old position as President and CEO of the SLGA. Jickling will continue to serve as Innovation Saskatchewan CEO.
Moe said he also considered Jickling for the role of Deputy Minister to the Premier before ultimately deciding on Swan.
“I’ve had a great working relationship with Cam, as well as with Wes, and to have both of them in the premier’s office thrills me greatly,” Moe explained.
All four appointments will take effect on July 16.