Former head of RCMP in Saskatchewan named province’s lieutenant-governor

REGINA — A former head of the RCMP in Saskatchewan has been appointed the province’s new lieutenant-governor.

Russell Mirasty, 62, becomes Saskatchewan’s 23rd vice-regal representative.

He takes over from Thomas Molloy, who died earlier this month at age 78 from pancreatic cancer.

Mirasty, whose first language is Cree, is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in northern Saskatchewan and had a 36-year career with the RCMP.

He was the first Indigenous person to command a division of the Mounties and is Saskatchewan’s first lieutenant-governor of Aboriginal background.

Mirasty says he was surprised and honoured by the appointment and he wants to be judged by what he achieves in the role.

“I think I should be judged on my work versus who I am or in terms of my background,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

“My post-RCMP career’s work was in different areas. It certainly helped me gain a better understanding of these areas and my willingness to continue and contribute in different roles.”

He is to be sworn in on Thursday at Government House so he can take up his duties immediately. A formal installation ceremony is to be held at a later date.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news release that Mirasty’s new role is in keeping with the dedicated public service he has given for much of his life.

“Known as a relationship-builder, Mr. Mirasty is an outstanding leader who paved the way for Indigenous peoples in the national police force,” Trudeau said in the release.

“As lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan, I know he will continue to make a difference for the people of his province and all Canadians, and inspire others to create change in their communities.”

“With a deep connection to Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities and a background of service with the RCMP, Mr. Mirasty will bring a valuable perspective to a role that has a rich history of service to the people of Saskatchewan,” added Premier Scott Moe in a statement.

Lieutenant-governors are the personal representatives of the Queen in their respective provinces and fulfil her roles and functions, including granting royal assent to provincial laws and visiting communities.

Their constitutional and ceremonial duties include presiding over the swearing-in of premiers, cabinet members and chief justices.

Mirasty joined the RCMP in 1976 and was one of only two Indigenous cadets in his troop at Depot Division in Regina. He served in various roles across the country, including as director general of National Aboriginal Policing Services, and became Saskatchewan’s commanding officer in 2010.

After his retirement from the RCMP in 2013, he helped lead a provincewide consultation with students, parents and teachers on how to improve the education system.

He was also appointed to Saskatchewan’s advisory group on poverty reduction.

While his duties will take him to Regina, Mirasty said he and his wife will continue to live in La Ronge, where he was born and raised. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Breaking news: Police responding to incident in downtown Red Deer

Red Deer RCMP are advising the public that there is a heavy… Continue reading

Red Deer mayor to speak about her visit to Holocaust sites next week at museum

Veer is concerned about ‘divisiveness’ in her own city

Weinstein conviction sends right message

“Don’t stay in silence because we can make this end one day”

Red Deer Catholic awaits budget day

Classroom support a priority

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Red Deer District Community Foundation looking for volunteer board members

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation is looking for new board… Continue reading

Feds seek 21 months for Hot Pockets heiress in college scam

BOSTON — Prosecutors are seeking nearly two years in prison for an… Continue reading

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s calculating autocrat, dies at 91

CAIRO —Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a cautious head of state who… Continue reading

N.S. Liberal budget opens up spending taps as province faces slowing economy

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Liberal government is opening the spending taps for… Continue reading

New rail blockades emerge as government talks continue

HAMILTON — Protesters in central Canada erected new rail blockades on Tuesday… Continue reading

Canadians in Iran ask for consular services in wake of coronavirus outbreak

OTTAWA — Canadians in Iran say they have no way to leave… Continue reading

Barrier repairs will impact QE11 Highway traffic

Weather permitting, crews will carry out cable barrier repairs on the QEII… Continue reading

Most Read