‘People have resigned for far less’: NDP calls for investigation into firearm allegations

Saskatchewan NDP ethics and democracy critic Meara Conway announces that the opposition formally wrote to the sergeant-at-arms, chief firearms officer, and the Legislative District Security Unit to inquire on allegations that house leader Jeremy Harrison brought a firearm into the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. PHOTO BY KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post

Alec Salloum

Regina Leader-Post

The Saskatchewan NDP wants answers after claims that a government MLA brought a gun into the workplace.

A week after Speaker Randy Weekes made his allegations on the floor of the legislative assembly against Jeremy Harrison, the government house leader has not addressed the claims or appeared publicly.

A request to interview Harrison on Thursday was declined.

Weekes alleged that Harrison sought permission to carry a handgun at the seat of provincial government and that he brought a hunting rifle into the building.

“Where is Jeremy Harrison and why isn’t he speaking to these very serious allegations?” asked Opposition ethics and democracy critic Meara Conway on Thursday.

Conway said she has sent letters to chief firearms officer Robert Freberg of the Saskatchewan Firearms Office (SFO), as well as Sergeant-at-Arms Lyall Frederiksen, and director of the Legislative District Security Unit (LDSU) Dani Herman.

“The potential presence of a firearm at the legislative assembly raises significant concerns for the safety and security of all members, staff, and visitors,” wrote Conway.

In her letter to Freberg, Conway asked if Harrison ever requested or received authorization to carry a handgun in Saskatchewan from the SFO, and if so why it was granted?

She asked Frederiksen and Herman if he requested and received permission to carry a firearm from their respective offices and if, to the best of their knowledge, Harrison ever carried a handgun into the legislative assembly. She also asked if either party has any record of Harrison “ever bringing a long gun into the legislative assembly.”

“It is crucial that we ensure the safety and security of all members and staff within the Legislature. Saskatchewan people are alarmed by these serious allegations and deserve to know the facts,” she wrote.

Conway said “people have resigned for far less,” when asked what she wanted to see happen from here.

The same day the letters were sent, Premier Scott Moe said he was “bewildered” by how this came to be. Speaking from an unrelated announcement at Whitecap Dakota First Nation, Moe said it wouldn’t be for him to order or direct an investigation.

“It wouldn’t be me that would call an investigation any more than I would direct an investigation at the Saskatoon Police Service,” said Moe, who went on to wish Weekes “the very best in all that he chooses.”

After speaking with Harrison last week, the premier denied the allegations, calling them “unequivocally false.”

“That’s not good enough,” Conway said Thursday, arguing that when it comes to an investigation “the premier could do whatever he wanted internally, within the party.”

On Wednesday, NDP Leader Carla Beck said she thought an investigation was warranted but stopped short of saying what that would look like.

“There needs to be a more thorough investigation into this,” she said. “What avenue that takes, I don’t think we know yet.”

Questions remain around who would conduct the investigation, given that security in the building now reports to the minister of corrections and policing rather than the Speaker — a result of legislative changes made in 2022.

“These are the kinds of things that we were concerned about, having security responsible for this building answer to a minister of the Sask. Party government, rather than a neutral body,” said Conway.