May 30, 2018 7:37 pm

Sask. Party leadership candidate Alanna Koch still on government payroll

Former Saskatchewan Party leadership candidate Alanna Koch's government career ends June 1, 2018.

Supplied / Government of Saskatchewan

During Executive Council budget estimates May 29, Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Premier Scott Moe entered into an exchange on Koch’s current position.

It was revealed she had been on paid leave since April 6, 2018.

Koch was on an unpaid leave from her job as deputy minister to the premier during her unsuccessful Saskatchewan Party leadership bid.

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Meili raised the issue again during Question Period on May 30. Moe confirmed that Koch had been paid $38,000 since her paid leave which began on April 6. However, that pay will be part of her eventual severance package.

READ MORE: Scott Moe new Saskatchewan Party leader, premier-designate

Moe confirmed that cabinet signed an order in council the morning of May 30 to officially end Koch’s employment with the province on June 1.

“These discussions have been ongoing throughout the time that we have been in sessions here and going through our transition. As I said, the time that she has – from April 6 to June 1 where that’s paid will be part of the severance,” Moe said.

The premier added that the timing of this order being signed has nothing to do with Meili’s line of questioning the day prior.

“Again, a real red flag for us was the idea that someone was on a paid leave and that up until us pursuing that, didn’t seem to have a definite end point,” Meili said.

Once a severance package has been established, Meili said the opposition will watch it closely to ensure it matches the formula established for these kinds of payments.

READ MORE: Alanna Koch running for leader of the Saskatchewan Party

Moe said discussions with Koch have been amicable. These discussions did include the possibility of a different position in government, but ultimately severance was decided.

Koch lost the Saskatchewan Party leadership campaign to Moe on the fifth and final ballot at the party’s January 27 leadership convention.

Between the convention and April 6, Moe said Koch had been using accumulated vacation days to account for the gap in the end of her unpaid leave and start of her paid leave.

Koch became the first female deputy minister to the premier in July, 2016. Prior to that, she had a nine year term as deputy agriculture minister. She also worked in the Grant Devine government.

Kent Campbell has served as interim deputy minister to the premier since Moe took office.

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