Saskatchewan insurance minister resigns after impaired driving charge

Published: August 27, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Don McMorris, the minister in charge of auto insurance in Saskatchewan has stepped down after admitting to being charged for impaired driving. Morris resigned from the cabinet, where he served as deputy premier to province Premier Brad Wall.

He said he was charged on Friday after he was stopped by RCMP while slowing down at a construction zone near White City. McMorris has not discussed the details of the case, such as how much impairment was involved when he was stopped. Speaking on Saturday, he said Brad Wall accepted is resignation and that he will also leave the Saskatchewan Party to deal with the legal ramifications of the case.

“There are no words to describe how sorry I am to my family, to my colleagues and to all the people of the province of my actions. They are absolutely unacceptable,” McMorris said.

“I should have never got behind the wheel after drinking. I know better. I absolutely know better. I take responsibility for my actions.”

“Today is to say I'll be resigning from cabinet. There will be legal matters that will take place in due course,” McMorris said.

While McMorris is a friend and colleague of Brad Wall, the Premier was clear in his disdain for being caught while under the influence.

“Drinking and driving risks and ruins lives and is completely unacceptable,” Wall said.

“I respect that Don has taken full responsibility for his actions and I support his decision to step away from caucus and seek counselling.”

It is a particularly embarrassing situation for all involved. Impaired driving is a huge problem for law enforcement and the auto insurance industry around Canada. DUI cases contribute heavily to rising insurance premiums and cost the economy billions of dollars each year. That the minister in charge of insurance would be caught in this manner is damaging to the government and initiatives it is undertaking to tackle impaired driving in Saskatchewan.

Just las May the province government launched an awareness campaign to combat impaired driving. The ad points out that in 2014 there were more than 1,100 collisions where alcohol or drug use involved, resulting in 61 deaths and 541 injuries.