Premier Scott Moe took responsibility and apologized for what he called “an unequivocal error” regarding the presence of convicted murderer Colin Thatcher at his “tough on crime” throne speech. That statement came on Monday, along with further action, following a weekend of criticism levied for the invitation MLA Lyle Stewart sent to the 85-year-old convicted felon. 

Initially, Moe distanced himself from that invitation saying that Thatcher was there at the invitation of his MLA, not the premier’s office or the government. On Monday, Moe back pedalled both issuing the apology and stripping Stewart of his duties as legislative secretary, 

"To all of those who have attended the speech from the throne, to all members of this assembly and to all of the people of Saskatchewan, I offer my unequivocal apology," said Moe is the legislative session. 

Moe’s turnabout came after a weekend of counsel from family, friends and colleagues, he himself noted. He said, "The message that was conveyed with last week's attendance by Mr. Thatcher during the speech from the throne is not a message that is acceptable to Saskatchewan people, nor is it indicative of a government that has a duty to provide leadership on such an important issue.”.

Thatcher is was serving a life sentence for the 1983 murder of his wife, JoAnn Wilson. A year later, following a polarizing trial in which Thatcher continually professed his innocence, he was found guilty. Thatcher was paroled in 2006.