In his final year-end interview with 620 CKRM News as premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall appeared relaxed and eager to share stories and remarks about his tenure as the leader of the province.
Wall is the 14th Premier of Saskatchewan. He was elected November 21, 2007.
Wall announced his intention to retire as Saskatchewan Party Leader and Premier on August 10, 2017.
“It was harder to make the decision,” Wall said in his year-end interview with Christina Cherneskey. “Tammy and I finalized the decision towards the end of June. And I was trying to figure out what’s the best time for the party. How much time should the party have for the leadership campaign. And what about the new leader? That person should be able to put their stamp on the budget.”
In his interview – which was designed to be more light-hearted and jovial — Wall could not resist talking about some of the accomplishments Saskatchewan has seen during his time in office.
“The group that deserves the most credit for the change is the people of the province,” Wall said in his year-end interview with 620 CKRM News. “I think they decided about ten years ago that there needed to be an attitudinal change in Saskatchewan. That we had all these resources and amazing people. And that we had been a ‘have-not’ province for so long. And it was also frustrating for me that would have this sort of pervasive mood or attitude of mediocrity.”
Wall’s political history in Saskatchewan is storied. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as an MLA for Swift Current in 1999. He was then re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2016.
He became leader of the Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party on March 15, 2004.
Throughout that time, Wall says his goals nearly always focussed on Saskatchewan’s growth. During his time as premier, Wall says the intent within the Sask. Party was to see Saskatchewan grow.
“We were intentional about our Graduate Retention Plan,” Wall said. “And that’s 50,000 young people that stayed here instead of leaving the province when they graduated. And 92,000 newcomers because of changes we made in the Immigrant Nominee Program. We lowered taxes for the small business sector – for every sector. Even with this last budget, taxes are significantly lower than when we took office.”
While the outgoing premier is a lover of classic cars, Wall says he has virtually no ability to fix them. He admits his favourite vehicle he ever owned was his ’67 Coronet, which Wall sold recently. But the premier also admits he would like to get his hands on one particular vehicle.
“In the late ’60s, Mopar, Chrysler, Dodge/Plymouth decided that the prices of muscle cars were getting out of control, Wall said. “So, they decided to build a muscle car for people that couldn’t afford what was coming out of Detroit. And they designed and built a Plymouth Road Runner. They paid Warner Brothers a bit of money for the rights to use the Road Runner decal. And the horn sounds like the Road Runner. And a Wile E. Coyote decal. They paid money for all of this.”
“But it’s a stripped down muscle car,” Wall continued. “Bench seats. Four speed. 383 V-8. Nothin’ else. Crank windows. No air. No nuthin’. And I want that car.”