Minister of Agriculture David Marit has made a public apology after nominating a Saskatchewan resident who is facing criminal charges for a public service award.
Marit nominated Jim Wickett for a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal last year for his work within the agriculture industry.
On June 2, 2022, Wickett was charged with assaulting his wife and possessing a firearm without a license and was charged with assault on Feb. 9, 2023.
“I apologize to not only victims and survivors but to all those who work every day to provide a future free of domestic abuse,” said Marit in an emailed statement. “As a government, we remain committed to doing that same work.”
Wickett was presented with the Platinum Jubilee Medal at a ceremony on Dec. 13, 2022.
“It is not appropriate for someone who is guilty of domestic abuse to receive a medal or an honour from the province,” adds Marit.
“To be clear, I would never have nominated someone for such an honour had I known.”
Marit explained he didn’t learn of the charges against Wickett or the guilty plea until last week and was unaware of the criminal activity at the time of the medal presentation.
Following this information coming to light, Wickett was asked to return the medal and has done so.
The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan) was created to celebrate the 70th anniversary year of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession to the Throne, which began on February 6, 2022.
The medal is a tangible way for the province of Saskatchewan to honour Her late Majesty for her service to Canada.
A total of 7,000 medals were awarded to deserving citizens.
The criteria for the medal are very broad, and recipients should be of all ages, and all walks of life provided that they have made a contribution to society.