Three ministers in Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe’s government are switching duties.
Moe shuffled his cabinet on Tuesday, but no one was ousted from his inner circle.
Greg Ottenbreit, who was serving as minister for rural and remote health, is now in charge of highways and infrastructure as well as the Water Security Agency.
Warren Kaeding takes over rural and remote health from government relations.
Lori Carr takes over from Kaeding as the new minister of government relations after heading up highways and infrastructure.
Earlier this year, Ottenbreit was criticized for encouraging a crowd at an anti-abortion convention in his Yorkton-area constituency to continue their fight.
He also said he would “continue to do what I can in my professional capacity,” as the province was reviewing coverage for the abortion drug Mifegymiso.
“That is not a factor with respect to what were are seeing here today,” Moe said Tuesday.
Ottenbreit had served in his portfolio for about five years, Moe said.
“We’re seeing a number of small realignments within what is already a strong cabinet, so that we can better serve the people of this province leading into the election next year.”
Ottenbreit said he doesn’t believe his remarks led to him being shuffled, but that it comes down to timing.
As a citizen, he said he doesn’t believe his remarks were inappropriate, but as a member of government, he concedes he could have chosen his words or venue differently.
“My pro-life views are something I’m very proud of. I will never back away from those,” he said.
It was disappointing the debate around his remarks led to personal attacks against him and his family, he added.
“People of opposing views or people with similar views that think you should be stronger in your views – it comes from all sides.”
Kaeding said he’s personally opposed to abortion, but he respects women’s reproductive rights.
“Our government has been very clear as to supporting … female reproductive rights and I’m going to make sure that that’s implemented,” he said.
Moe said the 14 other ministers in cabinet are keeping their current portfolios.
“Our cabinet and caucus will continue to deliver on the priorities of our constituents while continuing consultations as we renew our government’s plan for growth as we look ahead to 2030,” he said.
The next Saskatchewan election is set for Nov. 2, 2020.
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