Moe picks SLGA president for new role as Sask's top civil servant

Premier Scott Moe announced on Thursday that SLGA president and CEO Cam Swan is his pick for new deputy minister.

Cam Swan chosen as new deputy minister

Former CEO and president of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority says his first order of business will be looking at the priorities of the government and the civil service. (CBC news)

Premier Scott Moe has tapped the president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming to serve as his deputy minister, officially replacing one of Moe's former leadership opponents. 

Moe announced on Thursday that Cam Swan will assume the role as Saskatchewan's most senior civil servant. Swan replaces Kent Campbell, who has been in the job on an interim basis since last August when Alanna Koch entered the Saskatchewan Party leadership race. 

Koch did not return to the job following her defeat to Moe. She officially exited the job on June 1, taking with her more than $300,000 in severance she earned after 21 years with government.

"Cam is a leader by example," Moe said at a news conference Thursday. He said Swan "builds bridges" as opposed to "blowing them up."

"I think that is precisely what we need to lead the public service at this point in time."

Moe pointed to Swan's experience in the public service and said the two had previously worked together when Swan was deputy minister in the Ministry of Environment was Moe was the minister. He said he believes Swan has the respect of the pubic service, describing him as "honest" and "hardworking."

Moe said he looked at one other person for the job of top civil servant: Wes Jickling, CEO of Innovation Saskatchewan. Jickling has instead been appointed deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

"I wanted to bring them both into the Premier's Office in some way, shape or form, because I felt they had so much to add with respect to where we are heading with our trade relations. So much to add with respect to the relationship with the public service as a whole."

'I view myself as more of a leader'

Swan said Thursday he's honoured to fill the role. Once on the job, he expects his first order of business will be to figure out the priorities of the public service and how to better integrate the work of different departments. 

"I hope that my background will enable me to do that because I don't, quite frankly, view myself as an expect technically on anything, I view myself as more of a leader," he said, adding he has more than two decades of experience in the civil service. 

Swan's appointment takes effect July 16. 

Swan's departure from SLGA comaes as the agency prepares for the legalization of marijuana. He told reporters he expects his departure will have a minimal effect.

Clare Isman, a former senior advisor to deputy minister to the premier, will be appointed to succeed Swan as president and CEO of the SLGA. 

Meanwhile Campbell, no longer interim deputy minister, has been appointed deputy minister of trade and export development.

About the Author

Stephanie Taylor

Reporter, CBC Saskatchewan

Stephanie Taylor is a reporter based in Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC News in Regina, she covered municipal politics in her hometown of Winnipeg and in Halifax. Reach her at stephanie.taylor@cbc.ca

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