Sask. cabinet minister resigns following travel to Palm Springs
REGINA -- A Saskatchewan cabinet minster has resigned following reports that he travelled internationally to the United States over the holidays.
Carrot River Valley MLA Fred Bradshaw will replace Hargrave as Minister of Highways and Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency.
Hargrave will remain the MLA for Prince Albert Carlton.
"There was no rules that were broken by Mr. Hargrave in his travel, however, he had deemed that it was not the right decision," Premier Scott Moe said.
On New Year’s Eve, Hargrave apologized after it was revealed he had taken a trip to Palm Springs. He said the intention of the trip was to finalize the sale of a personal property. He's expected to return to the province on Tuesday
A real estate listing for Hargrave’s California property appear to show it was listed for sale on Dec. 26, 2020. Hargrave stated that he travelled to the United States on Dec. 22 to "finalize" the sale.
"There’s a real lack of leadership happening here from Mr. Hargrave as well as from Premier Moe, holding his cabinet to the standard that all Saskatchewan people have been asked to abide by," Matt Love, NDP Ethics Critic, said.
On Monday, Moe said he has advised his cabinet that they are not permitted to travel outside of province unless for reasons deemed absolutely essential.
He called Hargrave's choice to travel "inappropriate" at a time when Saskatchewan residents were asked not to see their families over the holidays.
"I should have been more clear with each of our caucus members about the fact that we should not be travelling during this period," Moe said.
The Premier stated no other caucus members or political staff travelled out of the country over the holidays. The NDP confirmed to CTV News that none of its MLAs left the province.
ANOTHER MINISTER TRAVELLED TO CALIFORNIA, GOVERNMENT SAYS
According to the Government, Minister Christine Tell, MLA for Regina Wascana Plains, was in California from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 to be with a family member who was ill with a non COVID-19 related illness.
Non-essential travel outside of Canada was discouraged at the time of the trip, however, Saskatchewan’s tighter public health orders didn’t come into effect until later that month.
"If you think back to that period of time, we were under very different circumstances, very different measures here in the province at that period of time," Moe said.
The NDP questions if that trip was necessary as well with so many Saskatchewan residents not able to be with loved ones battling illnesses due to restrictions.
"Leadership is leading by example, doing the right thing and certainly that also requires sacrifice, something that Ms. Tell and Mr. Hargrave have been unwilling to do," Love said.