REGINA, SASK. –
Saskatchewan kicked off its fall legislative session Wednesday with a tough-on-crime throne speech offered whereas a former cupboard minister turned infamous convicted killer sat within the chamber.
Colin Thatcher, 84, stated he was blissful to just accept an invite from his good good friend, Saskatchewan Party legislature member Lyle Stewart.
Wearing a blazer and bolo tie, Thatcher sat subsequent to a provincial police chief as Lt.-Gov. Russell Mirasty delivered the speech laying out the agenda for the session.
Mirasty stated the federal government is about within the coming days to introduce laws akin to Alberta’s proposed sovereignty act, the Saskatchewan First Act, which might outline that Saskatchewan has unique jurisdiction over its pure sources and financial future.
But it was the main target to crack down on crime, with Thatcher’s attendance, that drew essentially the most response.
“Many Saskatchewan residents see the federal authorities as too lenient on violent offenders who commit gun crimes and too targeted on punishing law-abiding gun house owners,” Mirasty stated.
“This session, my authorities will take vital motion to crack down on the unlawful and violent use of firearms within the fee of crimes to make sure households really feel secure of their communities.”
Thatcher’s ex-wife JoAnn Wilson was discovered crushed and shot to demise within the storage of her Regina house in 1983. The killing adopted a tense breakup between the couple and a bitter custody dispute over their three kids.
Thatcher, an vitality minister beneath former Conservative premier Grant Devine, was discovered responsible of first-degree homicide and sentenced to life in jail. He served 22 years behind bars earlier than he was granted full parole in 2006.
He has at all times maintained his innocence.
When requested by a reporter within the rotunda if he thinks the province wants harder crime measures, Thatcher laughed and stated “sufficient” earlier than strolling away. He then joined Stewart for tea at a social gathering.
“Colin was a longtime MLA, and he is a constituent of mine and a good friend of mine and that is why I (invited him) and I’m blissful that I did,” Stewart instructed The Canadian Press, including it was the primary time he’d invited Thatcher to a throne speech.
“If anyone has a proper to be right here, it is Colin Thatcher.”
He added that Thatcher, “a effective particular person,” has had a tricky life due to his time in jail.
Both Stewart and Minister of Corrections and Policing Christine Tell stated they weren’t involved concerning the optics of getting Thatcher at the speech.
Premier Scott Moe was unavailable for remark.
Thatcher has beforehand visited the legislature as a convicted killer. In 2006, he attended a ceremony honouring useless premiers that included his father, former Liberal premier Ross Thatcher.
Opposition NDP Leader Carla Beck referred to as the invitation for Thatcher to attend Wednesday’s occasion “gorgeous.”
“It’s a authorities that is more and more exhibiting us they’re out of contact, making sloppy errors,” Beck stated.
The province’s charge of home violence is among the highest within the nation, she stated.
“I’d say that the selections made and the gorgeous lack of self-awareness by this authorities right now will not go unnoticed by Saskatchewan individuals. I’m certain.”