Do­herty leaves cabi­net

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - CLASSIFIEDS - DC FRASER

Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Kevin Do­herty is re­sign­ing from cabi­net.

The Regina-North­east MLA is re­main­ing in his seat, but will no longer serve as a min­is­ter to “fo­cus on fam­ily is­sues that have arisen re­cently.”

Do­herty had served as the prov­ince’s fi­nance min­is­ter un­til this sum­mer, when he was re­placed and put in the smaller Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion port­fo­lio.

He was the fi­nance min­is­ter when, ear­lier this year, the prov­ince posted a $685-mil­lion deficit bud­get.

That was in March and Do­herty faced months of in­tense crit­i­cism for the un­pop­u­lar bud­get, which re­sulted in sig­nif­i­cant cuts to ed­u­ca­tion, health and so­cial ser­vices as well as a plan for a smaller civil ser­vice.

In Au­gust, af­ter Premier Brad Wall an­nounced his re­tire­ment, many be­lieved Do­herty was pre­pared to be­come the suc­ces­sor. Do­herty did not throw his hat into the race cur­rently tak­ing place to name a new leader of the Saskatchewan Party and, by ex­ten­sion, premier.

In­stead of be­ing a po­ten­tial premier, Do­herty took a step back that month when he was named Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter. The smaller port­fo­lio left many ques­tion­ing Do­herty’s mo­tives for the de­mo­tion, but he told re­porters it was at his re­quest.

He said he wanted a break from the fi­nance po­si­tion, but that Wall re­quested he stay on as a mem­ber of the cabi­net.

Now, Do­herty will be re­placed by Bat­tle­fords MLA Herb Cox. First elected in 2011, Cox served as the prov­ince’s en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter un­til Au­gust 2016, when he stepped down from the job be­cause of health rea­sons.

TROY FLEECE/REGINA LEADER-POST

Kevin Do­herty speaks with re­porters af­ter the re­lease of the 2016-17 Pub­lic Ac­counts.

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