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Joe Hargrave steps down as Saskatchewan highways minister after Palm Springs trip

Click to play video: 'Joe Hargrave steps down as Saskatchewan highways minister after Palm Springs trip' Joe Hargrave steps down as Saskatchewan highways minister after Palm Springs trip
WATCH: Red flags were raised Monday about Joe Hargrave’s trip to California to finalize the sale of a vacation home – Jan 4, 2021

Joe Hargrave, Saskatchewan’s minister of highways, has resigned from cabinet.

A statement from Premier Scott Moe’s office on Monday afternoon said he accepted Hargrave’s resignation.

Hargrave has been under scrutiny after word came out last week that he travelled to Palm Springs, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2020.

Read more: Joe Hargrave’s Palm Springs vacation property not listed until Dec. 26, Sask. NDP says

Hargrave said he had to make the trip to finalize a property sale and had advised Moe of his travel plans.

The Saskatchewan NDP has been calling for his resignation.

On Monday, ethics critic Matt Love said Hargrave’s property was not listed for sale until Dec. 26 and was sold the following day.

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“Anyone who owns a house knows there’s a big difference between finalizing a sale and listing it,” Love said Monday in a statement.

“People have cancelled vacations and business trips, missed visiting sick and dying relatives and generally put many aspects of their life on hold. Scott Moe and his ministers seem to think they are too important to do the same.”

Read more: Sask. NDP demands Joe Hargrave resign after Palm Springs trip; Moe says he will stay

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili didn’t hold back on how he felt Moe handled the situation.

“Premier Moe refused to show leadership today. Three days ago when the minister’s actions were fine. Today when his bogus story about finalizing the sale of his house was exposed, Premier Moe said it was “irrelevant” but because of public pressure the Minister had to go,” Meili said in a statement Monday.

“He shows no real understanding of the anger his government’s arrogance has caused. We all know none of this would have happened if they hadn’t been caught. There was no apology. The people of Saskatchewan deserve much better.”

Hargrave was also the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Agency.

Moe appointed Fred Bradshaw to take over from Hargrave.

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The premier’s office said Hargrave will remain in caucus and as MLA for Prince Albert Carton.

Current federal and provincial guidelines recommend avoiding all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Hargrave said he intends to self-isolate for 14 days in his Prince Albert home when he returns to Saskatchewan.

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Coronavirus: Growing list of Canadian politicians who ignored travel guidance – Jan 4, 2021

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