The Saskatchewan Party has outdone the fat wages of their NDP predecessors.
Ministerial chiefs of staff made about $70,000 under the NDP government, but are now earning between $85,000 and $120,000! MLAs now make a base pay of about $82,000.
Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz says "'you have to pay' to attract people with experience, but the cost will be offset by having a smaller number of ministries and fewer staff."
Smaller cabinet aside, half of this theory is disproven by the appointment of Garnet Garven, the new deputy minister to the premier. Garnet Garven is making $228,000, $29,000 more than his NDP predecessor.
Garven wasn't going anywhere. The dean of the University of Regina's School of Business when he was hired has worked in Saskatchewan all his life.
Wall also noted that Garven, besides serving in the past as president of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada in Saskatchewan, has public service experience. He was chair and chief executive officer of the Worker's Compensation Board under Grant Devine's Progressive Conservative government and has also served as a consultant providing advice to other governments, including Calvert and Roy Romanow's NDP governments.
Here's the real kicker: the Sask Party has had Garven in mind for this role for almost five years!
As Leader Post columnist Murray Mandryk noted on November 20 (and prior to Garven's appointment), the Saskatchewan Party made a document called the Thistle Project on January 10, 2003, stating how they would transition to government if they won the 2003 election. They lost that by two seats, and Garven has been waiting to be the top civil servant ever since.
Garven got his wish. But taxpayers hoping for a break on his wages did not. Garven couldn't have earned more anywhere else in the province, but he sure could have gotten less.