McMorris shouldn't return to caucus before sentence is up, says Opposition

McMorris shouldn't return to caucus before sentence is up, says Opposition

The Opposition says the former deputy premier should not be sitting with government MLAs while he continues to serve a sentence for impaired driving.

Don McMorris had been sitting as an independent since he was charged last summer. In September, he pleaded guiltyto driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

As the spring sitting of legislature began this week, government MLAs voted to allow McMorris to rejoin them in the government caucus.

In question period on Tuesday, the Opposition noted that all MLAs must swear to uphold a code of conduct, which includes not breaking the law.

"What message does this send to kids in communities across Saskatchewan?" asked leader Trent Wotherspoon. 

Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said McMorris has "completed his Criminal Code penalty" and is now serving the provincial portion of his sentence by using an interlock device.

'It's unacceptable': NDP justice critic

The Opposition's justice critic, Nicole Sarauer, said it is unseemly for someone who is still serving a sentence for a crime to be back in government.

"Look, it's clear here this MLA still has to blow into an interlock device every single day to get to work," Sarauer told reporters.

"He hasn't completed that condition, yet the Sask. Party have already let him back in to caucus. It's unacceptable."

The premier continued to reiterate that McMorris has already paid a heavy price by losing his job in cabinet and as deputy premier.

Jeremy Harrison, deputy house leader for the government, said he argued in favour of bringing McMorris back into the government because he believes redemption is possible.

"I really do truly believe that he has taken those steps to make sure that it doesn't happen again," Harrison said. "He accepts responsibility for what was a very poor decision."