Merasty Reflects On Political Life And Looks Ahead

Friday, September 07, 2007 at 15:59



Former Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Gary Merasty says his decision to leave politics was not an easy one to make.


Merasty assumed a position with Cameco earlier this week, after announcing his resignation from political life earlier in the summer.


He says he was honoured to represent the people of the North.


Merasty says his personal highlight was when the House of Commons rose in apology to residential school victims — an issue close to Merasty, as his family was affected by the church-run institutions.


But he admits it was difficult being in Opposition when previously he had been Grand Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council and could get things done more easily.


However, Merasty says parliamentary committees have given Opposition members more power.


He also won’t rule out going back into politics down the road.


However, Merasty says he plans to be at Cameco for the foreseeable future and use his new position to help improve the lives of northerners.


As Cameco’s new vice-president of corporate social responsibility, Merasty pledges to get northerners into higher profile jobs.


He says he will also be looking at ways to enhance the lives of people in the North through improved infrastructure.


Merasty says his first project will be to visit northern communities and mine sites and find out what northerners think about Cameco.


He will then make recommendations to the company on how to further support northern issues.


A northern resident says Cameco’s decision to hire Merasty could be a sign that industry’s attitude towards the North is changing.


Vince Natomagan, the general manager of Pinehouse Business North, calls the move a positive gesture from the company to the people of northern Saskatchewan.


He says the hiring should help give the North a higher position on the company’s radar, and hopefully generate more business opportunities for northern residents.


Natomagan also thinks the hiring is a sign that the presence of former Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Harry Cook on Cameco’s board of directors has had an impact.