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Saskatchewan MP resigns as party leader, saying he took a gun into parliament ten years ago

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REGINA – A week after Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe publicly assured people there was no truth to the allegation that his caucus leader Jeremy Harrison brought a long gun into the legislature, Harrison said it did indeed happen.

REGINA – A week after Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe publicly assured people there was no truth to the allegation that his caucus leader Jeremy Harrison brought a long gun into the legislature, Harrison said it did indeed happen.

Harrison admitted on Friday that he had brought the weapon with him and announced his resignation as leader of the government for this reason.

Harrison remains in Moe's cabinet as minister responsible for trade and immigration, while the opposition NDP says the whole issue raises serious questions about the prime minister.

“I apologise for this error of judgement and for not informing the Prime Minister on this one occasion,” Harrison said in a statement.

“I offered my resignation as leader of the government and the Prime Minister accepted it.

“About ten years ago I went hunting one weekend.

“I stopped briefly at the Parliament building and, with the knowledge of the security officers, brought a properly packaged long gun into the building so as not to leave it unattended in my vehicle in the parking lot.

“In hindsight, I shouldn’t have done that.”

The head of government is responsible for getting government bills through parliament.

The opposition NDP had been demanding for days that Harrison step forward and explain the allegations made by Speaker Randy Weekes a week ago on the last day of the spring session.

That day, simmering tensions between Weekes and his colleagues in the Saskatchewan Party caucus escalated, and Weekes publicly accused them of trying to intimidate him in his role as an impartial referee of debates in the House of Representatives.

He identified Harrison as the main culprit, saying Harrison sent intimidating text messages and showed the inside of his jacket – suggesting he was carrying a gun.

Weekes also accused Harrison of violating house rules by bringing a hunting rifle into the building.

The following day, Moe denied all allegations, telling reporters: “I have been informed that they are all clearly false.”

On Friday, NDP Leader Carla Beck said she wanted to know why the truth was not told sooner.

“'Clearly wrong' was Prime Minister Scott Moe's response a week ago,” Beck told reporters.

“It is now clear that Premier Scott Moe lied to the people of Saskatchewan. Either that, or his minister lied to the people of Saskatchewan. And if that is the case, that minister must be thrown out of the caucus.”

She added: “The question to the Prime Minister is: 'Are you OK with one of your ministers being exposed as a liar?'

“I think the answer to that should be no.

“We should not tolerate a government official lying and then thinking he can cover it up.”

Weekes declined to comment on Friday. He has represented the Saskatchewan Party since 1999. He lost his nomination for the Kindersley-Biggar constituency and has since left the party.

Harrison is the Saskatchewan Party candidate in the Meadow Lake constituency for this year's election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2024.

Jeremy Simes, The Canadian Press