Sask. NDP wants investigator appointed, testimony heard into gun allegations

Herald file photo. The Saskatchewan Legislature.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix Staff

The Saskatchewan NDP is urging the all-party House Services Committee to meet as soon as possible to appoint an independent investigator and hear witness testimony about allegations related to guns and inappropriate behaviour by Sask. Party MLA Jeremy Harrison.

The call, made Thursday by the party’s deputy leader Vicki Mowat, came in response to a letter from Speaker Randy Weekes about a potential investigation into allegations he made on May 16.

“Please advise as to how committee members would like to proceed with this request,” Weekes wrote in the letter addressed to the committee and dated June 3. The letter references a call made by NDP MLA Meara Conway last month for Weekes to convene the committee.

Weekes went public with claims of bullying and harassment by Saskatchewan Party MLA Jeremy Harrison, and incidents including bringing a long gun into the legislative building several years ago without prior permission.

“The public deserves answers. Minister Harrison has been caught lying at least three times now. We can’t trust a word he says. We need an investigation,” Mowat said.

“At the end of the day, this is about trust and accountability. You can’t have members of the Sask. Party openly lying to the public and trying to bully the independent Speaker. After 17 years, the Sask. Party clearly feels the rules don’t apply to them.”

Harrison resigned last month as government house leader — but remains as minister of trade, export and development — after the allegations made by Weekes in his end-of-session address.

Harrison initially denied the claims, and was defended by Premier Scott Moe. But days later, Harrison said a conversation with family members jogged his memory and admitted he had brought a gun into the building prior to a hunting trip years earlier.

On Thursday, Mowat gave the Speaker notice that members of the NDP will introduce two resolutions if a date is set for the House Services Committee to meet.

The first order would call for Moe, Harrison, government house leader Lori Carr and senior advisor to the premier Reg Downs to appear before the committee and answer questions connected to the allegations made by Weekes.

The second order, according to the NDP, would call for the appointment of an independent investigator to carry out an investigation into all the allegations made by Weekes. An investigation initiated by the committee could have subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify under oath.