The province wants to implement a more structured security service at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and on the surrounding grounds – however the Opposition says it’s an unnecessary move.
The government introduced Bill 70 – An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Act, 2007 – on Tuesday. If passed, the new bill would shift responsibility from the sergeant-at-arms’ team to a new director of Legislative security.
Minister of Corrections and Policing Christine Tell said the move is in response to increasing demonstrations at the Legislative Building over the last few years, adding the risks are different from 20 years ago.
“Our communities, our society has changed. We have noticed an increase in the intensity of the protests and the number of protests, the behaviour of people has changed and I think we have to change along with it,” she said.
Tell declined to speak to any specific protest that may have prompted the upgrade, but said it’s a “combination of many, many things over the past number of years.”
The Saskatchewan NDP said they feel the change is not needed and the bill should be tossed.
“At no time have I felt unsafe, at no time have I felt that I was under threat. And I’ve always had full confidence sergeant of arms and his team,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili.
During question period in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Nicole Sarauer, Opposition critic for corrections and policing, said the matter should be decided by the Board of Internal Economy, which is the body that oversees administrative policy impacting the Legislative Assembly, citing
Tell maintained the security update is needed to protect people working in the building against increasing threats