Moe’s Justice Minister appoints her constituency president to ‘independent’ commission

Opposition NDP calls on Moe’s Minister to scrap all commissioner appointments

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Human Rights Critic Jennifer Bowes and Ethics and Democracy Critic Meara Conway put Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre on blast for appointing another Sask. Party insider to the ‘independent’ human rights commission.

“This is an independent board tasked with defending human rights. There needs to be proper oversight, especially with a government that has shown its willingness to trample those rights by using the notwithstanding clause,” said Bowes. “It’s clear that after 17 years, the Sask. Party just can’t help themselves. They’re far more interested in rewarding donors and friends than fixing the challenges Saskatchewan people are facing.”

Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre appointed Alan Thomarat to the ‘independent’ human rights commission last month. According to a 2021 social media post from Eyre, Thomarat is the co-president of Eyre’s local Sask. Party chapter. Thomarat is also a regular donor to the Sask. Party and to MLA Eyre’s campaigns.

Donations to the Sask Party:

  • 2016 - $500
  • 2019 - $500
  • 2020 - $1,000

Donations to Bronwyn Eyre’s campaigns:

  • 2016 - $500
  • 2020 - $1,000

Eyre did not disclose Thomarat’s history as a senior Sask. Party operative and donor when she appointed him, instead playing up different parts of his biography. 

“The commission needs to be independent, but it can’t when it’s stacked with Sask. Party insiders. That’s like if you let someone accused of a crime pick the judge and put their best friends on the jury,” said Conway. “The people of Saskatchewan deserve a commission that is independent of political influence and can be trusted.”

Moe’s minister faced criticism last week after it emerged that Mubarik Syed, another appointee, has plans to be a Sask. Party candidate in the next election. In response to Syed’s Sask. Party ties, former commissioner Heather Kuttai said that commissioners should not even be able to have political lawn signs come election time.

The Official Opposition called on Premier Scott Moe to scrap all recent appointments to the commission and set up an arms-length, independent process to guarantee that future appointments serve the people of Saskatchewan, not political parties.

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