Saskatchewan NDP demand government house leader address gun allegations

Saskatchewan’s Opposition NDP says it wants answers on whether the government house leader brought a rifle into the legislature.

It has been a week since Speaker Randy Weekes told the legislature, on the final day of the spring sitting, that government house leader Jeremy Harrison had harassed him with text messages and threatened him to the point Weekes was worried Harrison was packing a handgun.

Weekes also told the legislature Harrison had flouted legislature rules by bringing a hunting rifle into the building and sought permission to carry a handgun.

Harrison could not be reached for comment and has yet to publicly respond to Weekes’s accusations.

NDP ethics critic Meara Conway told reporters the party has written to security officials asking them what they know about the accusations levelled against Harrison.

“Where is Jeremy Harrison? And why isn’t he speaking to these very serious allegations?” Conway said.

“Jeremy Harrison could have cleared the air today, he could have cleared the air already, but he’s hiding.”

Moe has denied the allegations against Harrison, saying Harrison told him they were “unequivocally false.”

He said it would be up to authorities to investigate the issue and that he doesn’t intend to request a probe.

The legislature’s sergeant-at-arms and Saskatchewan’s chief firearms officer did not immediately offer a response Thursday.

Conway said it would be alarming for any legislature member to bring in a gun as it could put people’s safety at risk.

“I think (Moe) is dodging the issue,” Conway said.

“People are sick of the Sask. Party soap opera.”

The Saskatchewan Party government changed legislative security more than two years ago, stripping powers from the sergeant-at-arms and giving control to the government.

The sergeant-at-arms, an independent body, now mostly has a ceremonial role.

Conway said Harrison was the “architect” behind the security changes.

“These are the kinds of things we were concerned about, where you have security responsible for this building answer to a minister of the Sask. Party government rather than a neutral body,” she said.

“It only makes these allegations take on more of a serious tone.”

The government has said it overhauled security to deal with heightened threats and rhetoric. It hasn’t cited specific incidents that led to the changes.

Earlier this week, Weekes read aloud in the chamber a letter from the province’s former sergeant-at-arms, Terry Quinn, who was critical of how the government handled the overhaul.

Quinn wrote there were three incidents brought to his attention, but that they weren’t related to breaching security within the building.

More from 620 CKRM