Released on September 30, 1999
Two weeks ago, the people of Saskatchewan decided to re-elect the government I
But they also sent us a clear message: The people of Saskatchewan want their
provincial government to change in some important respects.
They want us to listen more carefully to them. To be more open and more
accountable. And to work more closely with other parties and with communities
on rural and other issues.
Last week I met with both Mr. Hermanson and with Dr. Melenchuk.
All three of us agreed that all political parties and community leaders - in
Saskatchewan and in Manitoba - must work together urgently to address the farm
income crisis. On other issues, our caucus found that we share more common
ground with the Liberal caucus, led by Dr. Melenchuk.
Together, we share a common view that we must keep working to diversify our
economy and to create jobs.
That public Saskatchewan Medicare is critically important to the people of our
province - and that a great deal more needs to be done to improve it.
That better education and better access to higher education are critically
important for our children's future, and for our province's future.
That there must be no return to the carefree fiscal irresponsibility of the
past. That government budgets must add up and stay BALANCED.
That Saskatchewan families deserve to have more money in their pockets through
lower taxes -- implemented in a sensible, affordable and sustainable way.
Finally, we share a common view that Saskatchewan must and will continue to be
a strong voice for a strong Canada.
A voice for strong national social programs that benefit all Canadians.
A voice for a strong national approach to national problems like agriculture
And a voice for keeping this great nation together.
Those are our common goals.
And because we share this common ground, I am very pleased to announce an
agreement that will make the Legislature work for the people of Saskatchewan,
and enable us to move forward together.
Our party and the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan have agreed to co-operate as
FULL PARTNERS in a new coalition Government.
Under this agreement:
NDP and Liberal MLAs will continue to sit in the Legislature as separate,
duly elected caucuses.
We will work together in a joint coalition Cabinet -- FULL PARTNERS in managing
And we have agreed on fundamental goals and on some important priorities, as
I've outlined in my remarks.
Our written coalition agreement has been distributed as part of your package
I'm extremely pleased we've found the way to act on the message the voters gave
us, by reaching out to a new partner in the Legislature.
I'm pleased we have found a way to change the government for the better; and to
get to work on a new set of common priorities that I believe have the support
of a very strong majority of the people of Saskatchewan.
Now we're going to get to work.
We will begin to ADDRESS those priorities, by working together on a budget and
a detailed legislative program, which we will then present to the Legislature
during its regular winter session.
I'll now invite Dr. Melenchuk to make the second part of this joint statement.
And then I will conclude by announcing our new coalition Government team.
Hon. Jim Melenchuk
Leader of the Liberal Party, Minister of Education
Joint press conference with Premier Romanow
September 29, 1999
Thank you, Premier.
In the election two weeks ago, more than 20 per cent of the people of
Saskatchewan voted for the Liberal Party, and gave us the balance of power in a
Legislature in which no party has a majority.
I believe the people of Saskatchewan gave us that role expecting us to do more
-- a great deal more -- than to complain and find fault.
I believe they gave us that role expecting us to make the Legislature WORK. For
To make Government WORK. For them.
As best we can, for the four-year term of the Legislature.
We set out our priorities during the campaign, as did Premier Romanow and the
New Democratic Party.
And as the Premier has just outlined, I am convinced we share enough common
ground that it makes sense for us to work together -- as FULL PARTNERS -- to
make the government work, for the people of our province.
This is no time for partisan bickering on the farm issue. Now is the time to
work TOGETHER -- political parties and community leaders of every stripe, in
both Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
We need to work co-operatively to build a future for our children right here in
Saskatchewan, by building our economy and creating jobs.
I have devoted my life and my career to the practice of medicine. I don't want
to TALK about improving our health care system during the next four years. Our
party wants to help DO it: To be at the table, where the decisions are made, to
get to work and make health care BETTER.
During the election, both of our parties underlined the importance of
education, for our children and for our future. It's time for us to get to
work, to improve education and to make higher education more affordable for
Other key priorities: Sustainable lower taxes. A balanced approach. Balanced
That's what over 60% of the people of Saskatchewan voted for, by voting for the
Liberal Party and for the NDP under Premier Romanow.
By becoming partners in running the government, we're going to help deliver on
those priorities for the people of Saskatchewan.
Like the Premier, I'm very pleased we've been able to find this common ground.
I'm very pleased that our party has this chance to get out of the endless talk
and negativism of opposition, and instead make a REAL contribution and a REAL
difference. I think that's what the people of Saskatchewan expect us to do. And
that's what we're GOING to do. Premier...
Premier Roy Romanow
Joint press conference with Hon. Jim Melenchuk,
September 29, 1999
Thank you, Dr. Melenchuk.
We have outlined our common priorities. You have our coalition agreement.
You will understand that we now have many weeks and months of consultation and
work to do before we announce details of our new government's key initiatives.
So what remains for me to do today is to present our coalition government team.
First, I am pleased to announce that NDP and Liberal MLAs will jointly nominate
and support Mr. Ron Osika to serve as the next Speaker of the Legislature.
Mr. Osika is universally respected for his unimpeachable decency and level-
He will take on a significant challenge as the new Speaker in a House with 32
coalition government members, and 26 members of the opposition. We're all
looking forward to a very lively and interesting Legislature for the next four
Mr. Osika's background as a former member of the RCMP will, I am sure, help him
to achieve the balance of conciliation and firmness required to keep the House
He will be serve our province in a critically-important role.
The new coalition government will include the following Ministers of the Crown:
The Hon. Jim Melenchuk will serve as Minister of Education.
He will also serve as Vice-chair of the Cabinet Committee on Social Development
– the committee that frames Cabinet policy on health care, education and social
policy. And he will join the Cabinet Treasury Board – the committee that drafts
the provincial budget.
The Hon. Dwain Lingenfelter will serve as Deputy Premier, Minister of
Agriculture and Food, and Government House Leader.
The Hon. Janice MacKinnon will serve as Minister of Economic and Co-operative
The Hon. Pat Atkinson will serve as Minister of Health.
The Hon. Eldon Lautermilch will serve as Minister of Energy and Mines.
The Hon. Keith Goulet will serve as Minister of Northern Affairs.
The Hon. Joanne Crofford will serve as Minister of Labour.
The Hon. Eric Cline will serve as Minister of Finance.
The Hon. John Nilson will serve as Minister responsible for the Crown
The Hon. Clay Serby will serve as Minister of Municipal Affairs, Culture and
The Hon. Maynard Sonntag will serve as Minister of Highways and Transportation.
The Hon. Harry van Mulligen will serve as Minister of Social Services.
The Hon. Doreen Hamilton will serve as Minister responsible for SPMC and the
Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The Hon. Judy Junor will serve as Associate Minister of Health and Minister
Responsible for Seniors.
The Hon. Glenn Hagel will serve as Minister of Post-Secondary Education and
The Hon. Buckley Belanger will serve as Minister of Environment and Resource
Management, and as Associate Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal
The Hon. Jack Hillson will serve as Minister of Intergovernmental and
He will also join the Crown Investments Corporation Board.
And the Hon. Chris Axworthy will serve as Minister of Justice and Attorney
That concludes our joint statement. We're now going to have to leave to go to
Government House for the swearing-in. Dr. Melenchuk and I will then hold a
joint press briefing at Government House to answer your questions. Thank you.
For more information, contact:
Phone: (306) 787-0850
AN AGREEMENT FOR A COALITION GOVERNMENT
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF SASKATCHEWAN
THE LIBERAL PARTY OF SASKATCHEWAN
WHEREAS on September 16, 1999, fifty-eight representatives were elected to the
Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan and, while it is usual that results of an
election combined with the structure of political parties in the province will
allow Members of the Legislative Assembly to support a majority government
comprised of the Members of one political party, and thereby provide the
Province with a stable and predictable government for a suitable period of
time, in this instance, the election results do not allow one party to form a
AND WHEREAS the constitutional obligation of Members of the Legislative
Assembly in this circumstance is to make an arrangement for the selection of a
government, in keeping with this responsibility the Parties have agreed to
confirm an arrangement to provide stable government for Saskatchewan for the
term of the 24th Legislature;
NOW THEREFORE the Parties whose members represent a majority of Members of the
Legislative Assembly agree on the following terms and conditions:
Parties means the New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan and the Liberal
Party of Saskatchewan, which elected members.
Government means the government that is formed within the terms of this
Cabinet means those Members of the Executive Council who have been duly
recommended by the Premier and appointed pursuant to The Government
Principles of the Agreement
The Parties agree:
To act at all times in accordance with the letter and spirit of this
Agreement and to endeavour with co-operation and through consensus to fulfil
the intent of the agreement, setting aside personalities and partisan
differences in order to give priority to the interests of the people of
To provide sound and stable government in a manner that reflects the
values, spirit, pride and character of the people of Saskatchewan and to adhere
to the principles of a parliamentary democracy and to the laws and ethical
precepts of good government.
To accept that each Party has an identity that is legitimate and to
recognise this Agreement as a mechanism by which both parties can focus on
their similarities and common goals in order to serve the best interests of the
province as a whole.
To support sound economic and social policies, in accordance with
provincial resources, and to promote the implementation of these policies in a
fair and equitable manner.
To uphold the principle of a professional, politically neutral public
service based on merit.
Party Independence and Identity
The Parties agree to affirm the independence of each Party, to recognise that
the identity of each Party is legitimate and distinct and to preserve the
integrity of each Party in accordance with its Constitution.
The Parties agree:
To attend to and devote as much time as is necessary for the efficient
conduct of the Government and co-operate in all reasonable ways to ensure
sound, stable and effective government in the best interest of the residents of
To adhere to the position of the Government on all matters before the
That Members of the Legislative Assembly, who are Members of the
Parties to this Agreement, shall not support policies advanced by a political
party that is not a Party to this Agreement, or by a private member, unless
consent in writing is obtained from the Leaders of the Parties to this
To act in a manner that will not prejudice the operation of this
Agreement or the interests advanced by it.
Operation of the Government
The Parties agree:
The Premier shall recommend to the Lieutenant Governor that two members
of the Liberal Party become Members of the Executive Council.
Each Liberal Member of the Executive Council shall, along with all
members of the Executive Council, contribute to deliberations related to the
policies, legislation and budgetary allocations of the Government.
Each Liberal Member of the Executive Council shall, along with all
Members of the Executive Council, agree to adhere to the principles of cabinet
confidentiality, consensus, and solidarity and shall take the Oath of
Allegiance, Oath taken by Members of the Executive Council of Saskatchewan,
and Oath of Office, as required by convention.
Each Liberal Member of the Executive Council shall be appointed to one
or more of the cabinet committees.
To recognise that the Premier is the President of the Executive Council
and chairs all cabinet meetings, to respect the established conventions for
Cabinet operations within a parliamentary democracy and to adhere to the
processes and procedures set out for the Saskatchewan Cabinet.
The Leaders of the Parties to this Agreement shall jointly submit to
the Legislative Assembly a nominee for the office of Speaker.
Ministers are the heads of the departments for which they are
responsible. The permanent heads of the department are the deputy ministers
who are appointed by the Premier and are responsible for the administration of
The Parties agree that the development of policy requires consensus
through established cabinet and cabinet committee processes and that consensus
is best achieved through understanding, negotiation and practical resolution of
This Agreement is entered into on the 29thth day of September 1999 in the City
of Regina, Saskatchewan.