New Manitoba Speaker
On May 16, Manitoba’s MLAs elected Myrna Driedger as the new Speaker of the Assembly. Driedger succeeds former Speaker Daryl Reid who opted not to run in the most recent provincial election.
“I wish to thank the members for the high honour the House has conferred on me,” she said to the Assembly upon her election. “I leave the floor of this House to take the Speaker’s Chair. I leave behind all political and partisan feelings, and I intend to carry out the important duties of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly with impartiality and to the best of my ability.”
Born in Benito, Manitoba, prior to her election as a Progressive Conservative MLA for the riding of Charleswood in 1998 by-election, Driedger enjoyed a career as a registered nurse and served as President and Executive Director of Child Find Manitoba.
Driedger has also held several roles in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, including a three-year term as Chair of the Canadian Region of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians beginning in 2011, and vice-chair of CWP International.
New Saskatchewan Speaker
After two rounds of voting, on May 17, the 28th Session of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan elected Saskatoon Eastview MLA Corey Tochor, as its new Speaker. Tochor defeated incumbent Dan D’Autremont who had held the role since 2011 and Gregory Brkich, MLA for Arm River.
As deputy chair of committees, Tochor had worked closely with D’Autrement, asking many questions about procedural issues. “That kind of sparked my interest in becoming speaker,” he said. Although considering the former Speaker a mentor, Tochor said: “I am going to be a different Speaker. I’m going to take each issue as they rise. I come from probably a different space as a Speaker.”
Born and raised in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Tochor owned and operated Health Conveyance Inc., a communications company that provides electronic messaging in health facilities across the province prior to his election as an MLA in the 2011 provincial election.