Colleen Young, Saskatchewan Party MLA for Lloydminster, was appointed to the government’s Treasury Board on May 21, a role that she says she’s honoured to take on.
The Treasury Board is the group in charge of preparing the provincial budget and keeps an eye on government spending and finances throughout the year.
“I’m surprised, but I’m honoured and excited about this new role,” Young said. “It is an extremely important role that the premier has tasked me with and I am going to give it my very best.”
Young will have her first meeting with the board on May 28, when she’ll start to get an idea of what exactly her duties are and she says the committee will begin putting together some discussions involving next year’s provincial budget.
Though the spring budget for this year was released only months ago, Young said it’s important to think ahead as to what the future might bring based on the economy and other activities in the province that may impact finances.
“There will be ongoing discussions as to how that might look even before the fall sitting,” she said.
Young’s two decades as a trustee with the Lloydminster Public School Division have given her some experience in working with budgets. She says in her time there she had to make smart decisions that were in the best interests of students, staff and families within the division, which makes her a suitable choice for her new role in the provincial government.
“You’re charged with ensuring the education of students is priority one and whether it’s about maintaining buildings, making sure there’s an appropriate staffing level or making sure all of the services are in place for the programs kids need to learn, it’s very important. And along with that, (there) are dollars to support those things,” she said.
“So after 20 years of having to make those decisions every year, it’s a very important role, and I think that the premier obviously believes that the leadership I have shown, and having to make those kinds of decisions, will support the Treasury Board decisions as well.”
Despite the fact Young is moving up the political ranks, she remains modest in her goals, opting for a “one day at a time” approach and using the promotion as a learning experience. She says she’s learned a lot since being elected to office last November and she will grow as much as she can in the political career that she’s chosen.
She also says she’s been able to help her local constituents in addressing some of their problems and concerns, and even though she has much more to learn, the experience has helped her realize the areas where she can assist down the road as well. And regarding her new spot on the Treasury Board, she says she is prepared for the tasks to come and is excited to taking them on.
“I’m looking forward to jumping right in there and getting on with the business of the province and continuing to provide good fiscal management and balanced budget as well as continuing to help this province grow and stay strong,” she said.