'Thank you Saskatchewan': Premier Brad Wall announces retirement
Brad Wall has announced he’s retiring from politics after a decade as premier of Saskatchewan.
Wall made the announcement in a video on his Facebook page Thursday morning.
“I’ve always thought that the 10-year mark, should I be so fortunate to serve that long, might be the right time to re-evaluate. Together with Tami, I’ve decided that now is the time for renewal — for my party, for the government, for the province,” he said.
“It’s time for me to retire from politics.”
At a news conference, Wall said he made the decision to retire sometime around the end of June.
“I really believe that Saskatchewan will benefit from a different style, a different voice, and so will our party,” Wall said.
Wall said he will stay on as premier until a new leader takes over. He’s asked that the process to replace him begin “forthwith.”
While Wall currently has no prospects, he said his job as premier will be “the honour of my working life.”
“I am grateful to the people of province,” he said.
Wall touted his government’s record, pointing to population growth exceeding 1 million people and the creation of 67,000 jobs in Saskatchewan over the past decade.
He also noted that a record number of highway kilometres have been built and repaired across Saskatchewan, and that investment in provincial parks has increased by 111 per cent.
Saskatchewan’s surgical wait times have also been slashed to among the shortest in Canada, Wall said, and the government has eliminated wait lists for group homes for those with intellectual disabilities.
However, Wall also admitted he and his government have made mistakes, including a funding cut to libraries in the latest provincial budget, which has since been reversed.
“I think we went a little too quickly with some of those (changes) in this last budget,” Wall said.
While there has been progress on Indigenous education and employment in the province, Wall said more work needs to be done.
Interim NDP leader Nicole Sarauer noted that Wall dedicated decades of his life to politics.
“I haven’t been in politics for long, but I do know already that it takes a toll on yourself and your family and your loved ones, so I do thank him for that service,” she said.
Wall was first elected as an MLA in 1999, representing the constituency of Swift Current.
In 2004, he was acclaimed as leader of the Saskatchewan Party, and in November 2007, he was elected premier.
CTV's Cally Stephanow and Wayne Mantyka are at Brad Wall's retirement press conference.