Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
REGINA – Jim Reiter is Sasktchewan’s new minister of Energy and Resources, after a cabinet shuffle on May 31.
Reiter represents the riding of Rosetown-Elrose. He has served in cabinet since 2009, and has held the portfolios of minister of or responsible for Highways, Government Relations, First Nations, Métis, and Northern Affairs, SaskEnergy and SaskTel, SaskBuilds and Procurement, Public Service Commission, for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, and for the Global Transportation Hub Authority. His most recent portfolio has been health, for the latter part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He replaces Bronwyn Eyre, MLA for Saskatoon Stonebridge-Dakota. Eyre had served as minister of Energy and Resources since February, 2018. Her tenure was marked by continual battles with the federal government on pipelines, carbon tax, an oil tanker ban off the B.C. coast. Her tenure also was during a time of tumult for the oil industry. After several years of a downturn in prices, the spring of 2020 saw the COVID-19 pandemic result in an oil price collapse. That was especially significant as the oil industry is the second largest in Saskatchewan, after agriculture and before potash. And in recent months, the seven-year oil downturn finally ended and oil prices are over US$100 per barrel. And her battles, principally with the federal government, had switched to the clean fuel standard and an impending federal cap on oil and gas industry greenhouse gas emissions.
Reiter takes the portfolio at a time when oil prices haven’t been this high since 2014, oil is up, potash is up, and the uranium industry is seeing new life. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has pushed commodity prices and demand up for energy products across the board as the world seeks to displace Russia production. It’s also a time when new energy and resources like lithium and helium are coming to the fore.
Premier Scott Moe said, “Never before has Saskatchewan had such an opportunity at a global level to grow our exports, our industries and our economy.
“Saskatchewan has among the most sustainable resources in the world, and this growth results in better services, programs and opportunities for Saskatchewan people.”
“Almost 70 per cent of what is produced in Saskatchewan is exported across the world, and that helps pay for new schools, new long-term care centres, new health programs and the staff to support these services and others that Saskatchewan people expect and deserve,” Moe said.
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