The member of parliament for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River is going to be serving in his party’s shadow cabinet.

Gary Vidal has been named critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations by Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole.

Vidal, who was re-elected to serve his second term as MP for the northern Saskatchewan riding in the most recent federal election said the first order of business for him will be learning more about the portfolio.

“We’ll actually get some transition information from the former critics of the file and the works just beginning,” he said.

Going by his own personal experience serving Indigenous communities in his own riding Vidal said he expects issues such as treaty negotiations, fallout from residential schools and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to be major issues that fall under the umbrella of Crown-Indigenous Relations. Vidal added to truly deal with the major issues in this area their needs to be good relationships with everyone involved.

“It’s fundamental that we have to have good honest conversations and quite good partnerships with people so that we can really work through some of these difficult challenges,” he said.

Serving as the MP for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River is something which Vidal believes will be helpful in his coming critic role as he has experience working with First Nations and Métis communities.

“It’s given me a vast experience of building those relationships with people and understanding some of the needs,” he said.

Overall Vidal said he is excited to be taking on the new job which will come with a lot of challenges, but along with those challenges he believes comes a real opportunity to make some positive contributions.

“It’s a role that I think is really important, I think relationships are really important and this is a role where I think we can capitalize on the ability to build positive relationships,” he said.

Along with Vidal, Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback will also be serving in the Conservative shadow cabinet as critic for International Trade and Supply Chain Resilience. Regina Lewan MP Warren Steinley is going to be taking on the role as critic for Prairie Economic Development and Inter Provincial trade, while Regina Qu’Appelle MP and former Conservative Party leader Andrew Sheer will be serving as the critic for Infrastructure and Communities.