Saskatchewan’s children’s advocate, Bob Pringle, resigns from post

Dan D'Autremont, speaker of the Saskatchewan legislature, says in a letter that he received Bob Pringle's resignation. File / Global News

REGINA – Saskatchewan’s advocate for children and youth says the provincial legislature has decided not to reappoint him. Bob Pringle’s five-year term expires at the end of December.

“A decision was made not to reappoint me and I don’t fully understand why, so I think that’s their accountability to explain that,” Pringle said Wednesday.

“I was disappointed, obviously, because I had made it clear that I’d be honoured to be here for a second term. I mean I’m honoured to have been here for five years,” he added in an interview with The Canadian Press.

But Pringle also said he respects the decision and noted it is the prerogative of the legislature.

READ MORE: Sask. child advocate criticizes Corrections in annual report

A news release from legislature Speaker Dan D’Autremont said that he received Pringle’s resignation, effective Monday.

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Pringle said the government asked him to stay on while it searches for a replacement. He had to resign so that the Board of Internal Economy, an all-party committee which oversees administration of the legislative assembly, could appoint him as acting children’s advocate until the end of next October.

“That allows me to release the annual report for this year and we’re working on a couple of special reports, so I’ll be able to be here to release them.”

Saskatchewan Party MLA Jeremy Harrison, who serves on the board, says the decision not to renew Pringle’s appointment was made by the board to the legislature because of the timing of the next provincial election.

Saskatchewan voters are to head to the polls April 4.

“I think the board had decided that we didn’t want to tie the hands of the next legislature by appointing a new officer so close to that election,” said Harrison.

He also said the decision whether to reappoint Pringle couldn’t be made on the assumption that the governing Saskatchewan Party will win the next election. A parliamentary rule basically precludes members from indicating what the house will do in the future.

Harrison said hiring a new children’s advocate will be up to the next board after the election. Pringle could reapply for the job, he added.