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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:25 pm    Post subject: Sask Premier Brad Wall retiring from politics Reply with quote

( some shocking news out of Saskatchewan , premier Wall is leaving office )

Sask. Premier Brad Wall retiring from politics

Laura Payton, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:03PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 10, 2017 1:47PM EDT

OTTAWA -- Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is leaving provincial politics, he announced Thursday, but will stay on as premier until a new one is chosen.

At a press conference following the announcement, Wall, 51, said he has no job prospects yet.

Whatever he does next, Wall said, being premier will be the "honour of my working life."

Wall has been premier for nearly 10 years. The Saskatchewan Party took office in November, 2007, and Wall consistently polled as the most popular premier in the country.

"Now is the time for renewal…. It’s time for me to retire from politics, " he said in a video posted to his Facebook page.

It's also important, he said at the press conference, to give lots of time for Saskatchewan to get to know whomever replaces him.

"I think this is the right time for me to step aside," Wall said. "It's also time for me, and for my family, perhaps to do something else."

The departing premier seemed to tear up during his press conference, particularly when talking about his family and the staff who have served him for his decade in office.

"I'm very blessed to have a family like I do and parents like I do," he said.

Popularity dipped following budget

The Swift Current, Sask. resident has been a member of the legislative assembly since 1999.

Wall's time in office coincided with a rise in Saskatchewan's political pull within the Canadian federation, as oil prices skyrocketed. More recently, with a Liberal federal government and the NDP running Alberta, his importance as a conservative voice grew.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders fan was rumoured to be a contender for the 2017 federal Conservative leadership, although he repeatedly said he wouldn't run. Wall stayed out of the contest that ultimately chose Regina MP Andrew Scheer.

Last spring, Wall's government tabled a deeply unpopular budget that proposed cutting funeral benefits for the poor, shutting down inter-city bus service, cutting library funding by more than half, and raising the provincial sales tax from five to six per cent.

His government subsequently dropped the proposal to cut funeral benefits and library funding.

The retiring premier saw his polling numbers drop following the budget, though they remained relatively strong at 46 per cent.

He spent some of the last year fighting with the federal government over its plan to impose a carbon price on provinces and territories that didn't implement their own carbon tax or cap and trade plan.

Mistakes made, Wall allows

Wall admitted to having made mistakes over his time in office and said there's much left to do.

"But those fundamental questions about the future viability of the province we all love? After this decade of growth, we don't ask them anymore. Saskatchewan is growing and vibrant, and strong," he said.

"And I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to play some small part in all of that."

It isn't immediately clear what Wall, 51, plans for life after politics.

Scheer praised Wall as a powerful voice for Saskatchewan and a champion of the conservative movement, in a statement released shortly after Wall's announcement.

"Under Premier Wall's leadership, Saskatchewan grew and expanded as never before. Reversing a decades-old trend, Saskatchewan now attracts people from all over Canada and the world, offering jobs, opportunity and growing communities to people from all walks of life."

"Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast have appreciated his leadership on the national stage, particularly his opposition to a national carbon tax. He has always been a strong voice for resource development and job creation, and the prosperity and opportunity these industries offer to hard-working families."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key facts about retiring Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press

August 10, 2017
12:36 PM EDT

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced Thursday he is retiring from politics after a decade in office. Here are a few key facts about the long-serving Saskatchewan politician:

Age: 51

Hometown and riding: Swift Current, Sask.

Family: Wall and his wife Tami have a grown son, Colter, and two grown daughters, Megan and Faith. Colter has a budding country music career.

Outside politics: Wall is a huge football fan and a booster of both the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders and Oakland Raiders. He has done a segment called “Premier’s Picks” on Saskatchewan radio during Canadian Football League season. He’s also a classic car buff. Last year, he bought a white Cadillac convertible once owned by country music legend Waylon Jennings.

Early career: In the 1980s, he worked in Ottawa in the office of Swift Current Tory MP Geoff Wilson. He returned to Saskatchewan and worked as a ministerial assistant in Grant Devine’s Progressive Conservative government. Wall was first elected as a member of the legislature in 1999, under the banner of the Saskatchewan party.

As premier: Wall was first elected premier of Saskatchewan in November 2007. He won two more general elections with majority votes in 2011 and 2016.

Notable moments: Wall has been a fierce critic of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax policy. He has also called for the suspension of the federal government’s plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees and has been a passionate advocate for pipeline projects.

Quote: “This meeting is not worth the CO2 emissions it took for environment ministers to get there.” — Wall’s statement after Trudeau’s surprise announcement of a carbon tax whilst environment ministers were in a climate change meeting.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall retiring from politics

Will stay on as premier until Saskatchewan Party chooses a new leader

By Creeden Martell, CBC News Posted: Aug 10, 2017 9:01 AM CT| Last Updated: Aug 10, 2017 12:17 PM CT

Brad Wall is in his third term as premier.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced on Thursday he is retiring from politics after 14 years as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party.

Wall said he would stay on as premier until the party elects a new leader.

"Together with [my wife] Tami, I have decided that now is the time for renewal ­— for my party, for the government, for the province. It's time for me to retire from politics," Wall said Thursday morning in a video posted to Facebook.

Brad Wall announces retirement on Facebook5:13
■Political world reacts to Sask. Premier Brad Wall's resignation

Wall, who is in his third term as premier, mentioned the decision to retire was made around the end of June.

The announcement comes in the midst of a tumultuous term due to a slumping economy and highly criticized cuts made in March's provincial budget.

'Mistakes' and controversy

During the 2016 provincial election, the Saskatchewan Party won 51 out of 61 seats under Wall's leadership. Wall's popularity took a significant hit after the most recent budget, which saw the province post a $685-million deficit.

The province shut down the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, which provided bus service carrying people and freight between major urban centres, much to the chagrin of residents in rural and remote parts of the province.
■'Renewal' needed as Sask. Party marks 20th anniversary: analyst
■Premier Brad Wall's popularity dropping but he's still the preferred leader: poll

Universities and schools saw their funding slashed. Municipalities struggled to cope with the scrapping of the grants-in-lieu program, which saw payments made to municipalities by Crown corporations instead of property taxes.

"We as a government have made mistakes. I have made mistakes," Wall said at a news conference following the Facebook announcement.

Wall identified cuts to the province's libraries, worth $4.8 million, as a mistake made by the government. The province later reversed the cuts.

And the provincial sales tax was raised to six per cent for the first time since it was cut by the NDP in 2006.

New leader will have time to make mark

First elected as premier in 2007, Wall had served as the MLA for Swift Current since 1999. Wall was acclaimed as leader of the party in 2004.

"I believe, though, that to best ensure continued success in that work, Saskatchewan needs renewal, a fresh perspective in leadership," Wall said today.

When questioned about the timing of the announcement, Wall said it was important to give the next leader of the party time to make themselves familiar with the people of Saskatchewan and the issues that need to be addressed.

Although Wall is staying on until a new leader is chosen, he said he has no immediate job prospects.

Regardless of what path he chooses, Wall said the premiership would be the highlight of his career.

Wall highlighted projects such as hospitals being built, the addition of 750 more doctors and 3,000 more nurses in the province, and the "record number of highway kilometres" repaired.

New leader

The Saskatchewan Party will choose its new leader in a one member, one vote election.

In a press release, the party said the provincial council would meet within 30 days to draft and approve initiatives to set dates for a convention, location, nominee file fees, membership sales deadlines, a voting system and campaign expense limits.

"We have some work to do," Wall said, adding the fall sitting would be very active.

Progress made

Wall and the Saskatchewan Party defeated the NDP in 2007. The party went on to win two more elections in 2011 and 2016.

Saskatchewan's population grew by 160,000 during Wall's tenure and 67,000 jobs were created during his time as premier.

During the party's rule, 40 new and replacement schools were opened in the province. Wall had criticized the previous NDP government for its many closures, including 176 schools throughout the province.

Wall attributed the province's growth over the last decade to more aggressive policies surrounding immigration, new legislative policy and lower taxes.

"This was such a difficult decision to make," Wall said of his plan to leave politics.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad Wall goes out on top

Postmedia Network

First posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 07:32 PM EDT | Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017 07:35 PM EDT

Canadian politicians so seldom quit in mid-success that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s announcement last week that he is leaving provincial politics caught many folks by surprise.

Including us. Saskatchewan’s highly successful premier for the past decade, we think he might have been the best Conservative prime minister Canada never had.

We were disappointed when he decided not to throw his hat into the federal Conservative leadership race, eventually won by Andrew Scheer.

That’s an indication of our respect for Wall, not a shot at Sheer, who ran an impressive campaign and deserved his victory.

We liked Wall because of his plain-spoken manner, and because he never forgot that his job on the national stage was to represent the economic interests of the people of Saskatchewan to the best of his ability.

They obviously agreed, having elected him and his Saskatchewan Party three consecutive times, with more than 50% of the popular vote in each contest.

That’s an amazing level of endorsement, with Wall’s last victory coming in 2016, when he captured an impressive 51 seats in the province’s 61 seat legislature.

To us, Wall was often the only voice of sanity on federal-provincial issues like climate change, unafraid to go it alone in taking on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on issues such as carbon pricing, a matter of paramount concern to his resource-rich province.

Wall typically scored at the high end of popular support in national surveys on the popularity of provincial premiers.

While he had recently run into tougher economic times, and a dip in popular support after introducing an austerity budget in Saskatchewan because of falling natural resource prices, he remained by far the province’s most formidable politician.

By going out on top, Wall, 51, who says he has no immediate plans for the future, will have plenty of options to choose from.

Whatever they may be, he described serving a decade as Saskatchewan’s premier as, “the honour of my working life.”

In terms of his political success as premier, we would put Wall in the top tier of modern-day Canadian premiers, in the same league as the late Peter Lougheed of Alberta and Ontario’s Bill Davis.

Indeed, we still hope to see him in federal politics some day.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Social services minister enters race to replace Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

Brad Trost also considering a run

Canadian Press

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

REGINA – The race to replace Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall got its first entrant Tuesday when Social Services Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said she couldn’t just watch from the sidelines.

Beaudry-Mellor said in a statement that she is entering the race to lead the Saskatchewan Party and, ultimately, become premier after Wall’s retirement.

“I have also worked very hard to encourage women to get involved in politics and have tried to contribute to the conversation about redefining leadership, so that it becomes less about gender and more about having a vision and bringing people together to realize that vision,” said Beaudry-Mellor.

“Presented with the opportunity to participate in the upcoming leadership race, I cannot watch from the sidelines. I am leaning in. All the way in.”

Wall announced last week that he’s stepping away from politics after 10 years as premier. He said his province and the party will benefit from a fresh perspective.

Beaudry-Mellor, who was first elected in April 2016, predicted people will say that she has not been in office long enough.

“They will be correct,” she said. “But if this is really about renewal, then I see this as an advantage, not a disadvantage.”

Beaudry-Mellor is the first woman to run for the leadership of the Saskatchewan Party in its 20-year history.

Shortly after her statement was released, Wall’s office outlined rules for any cabinet ministers who enter the leadership race. In an email, his office said Wall has advised all ministers that they will be required to leave cabinet if they decide to run to lead the Saskatchewan Party.

“Outgoing ministers will be required to vacate their offices on the day they announce and they will be assigned to a regular MLA office as soon as possible,” it said.

Wall wants to ensure no candidate has any advantage by virtue of being in cabinet, the email added.

He also said running a leadership campaign may not allow a minister sufficient time to perform ministerial duties, and being outside cabinet allows candidates to openly express their views on all issues.

It’s expected several cabinet ministers could join Beaudry-Mellor in the race, although no one else has officially announced.

Federal member of Parliament Brad Trost has also said he’s considering whether to enter the leadership contest.

“If the party wants to have an outsider, reset something, not someone from this caucus, I fit the bill,” Trost said in a phone interview from Saskatoon.

“If they want to reach out to a lot of the new Canadians, the immigrants who have been streaming into Saskatoon and Regina over the last several years, both because of family and political history, I have probably the best connections of anyone in the province.

“There is a case to be made for me to do it. I just don’t know if I’m going to do it.”

Trost was first elected as an MP in June 2004 and recently ran to become leader of the federal Conservatives. He lost to Regina MP Andrew Scheer.

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Sask Premier Brad Wall retiring from politics

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