Leg­is­la­ture col­leagues re­mem­ber MLA

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - D.C. FRASER

Kevin Phillips, the MLA for Melfort de­scribed as a fam­ily man who was pas­sion­ate about his com­mu­nity, died sud­denly on Mon­day.

The 63-year-old was first elected to the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly in 2011.

On Tues­day, dur­ing a som­bre sit­ting of the Saskatchewan leg­is­la­ture, Pre­mier Brad Wall de­scribed Phillips as some­one who lived a life of fam­ily, se­cu­rity and com­mu­nity.

The Saskatchewan Party MLA had four chil­dren and sev­eral grand­chil­dren, of whom he was im­mensely proud.

Phillips was known for his good hu­mour and friendly de­meanour; Wall said he knew that when Phillips was se­ri­ous, the mat­ter was of up­most im­por­tance.

That was the case for Phillips dur­ing his push for the con­struc­tion of a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence shel­ter in Melfort, Wall said. Phillips lob­bied for the cen­tre and walked many miles in red high heels to raise sup­port and aware­ness about the is­sue. The cen­tre is the first of its kind to be built in the prov­ince since 1989.

Sev­eral MLAs spoke about the sage ad­vice of­fered to them by Phillips, who was an ac­tive mem­ber of the Melfort busi­ness com­mu­nity and mayor of the city be­fore be­ing elected as an MLA. He was a part­ner in the Melfort Jour­nal for more than 25 years and sat on the board of the Cana­dian Com­mu­nity News­pa­per As­so­ci­a­tion.

Op­po­si­tion NDP MLAs spoke of how Phillips wel­comed them af­ter they were first elected and how, de­spite the ten­sion of po­lit­i­cal de­bate, they some­times would not feel that ten­sion around him.

That sen­ti­ment was echoed by War­ren Kaed­ing, an MLA elected in 2016, who said Phillips turned an in­tim­i­dat­ing place into a friendly place.

Poignant remarks about Phillips were de­liv­ered by Mark Docherty, MLA for Regina-Corona­tion Park. He said they were col­leagues for one day, and friends af­ter that. As rookie MLAs, the two good-hu­moured men sat in the back row of the leg­is­la­ture. Docherty joked how the two used to call it the “hin­ter­land” and teas­ingly in­tro­duce them­selves to their cau­cus col­leagues ask­ing, “Do you even know who we are?”

Phillips was serv­ing as the deputy whip for the gov­ern­ment side.

Flags out­side the Saskatchewan leg­is­la­ture were low­ered to half­staff on Tues­day to hon­our him.

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