It started with an innocent enough video on Facebook.
On Thursday morning, Premier Brad Wall announced a special announcement was coming. Rumours swirled, but many people got the sense Wall was about to announce the end of his political career.
By 10 a.m. Thursday, he’d announced he was retiring. It came as a surprise to many, but not those who know Wall best.
“It was something that I think the premier has been thinking about, as he indicated, for a couple of months,” former finance minister Ken Krawetz told Gormley. “I’ve had some good discussions with him so while it’s disappointing, it’s not totally shocking to me.”
Krawetz, the former MLA for Canora, is one of the founding members of the Saskatchewan Party. He worked besides Wall for more than a decade – and as his deputy premier for eight years.
“I’ve been very lucky,” Kravetz said. “I was able to be part of Premier Wall’s team for 11 years. I enjoyed every minute of working with him and trying to ensure that we could move Saskatchewan forward.”
Krawetz said Wall was known to be “a capable orator, a great organizer” but said there are things behind the scenes many don’t see, like how he pushed his team to be better. Krawetz pointed to a preliminary draft of his second finance budget.
“He said, ‘That’s not good enough, we have to do better,’ and he directed me to basically put my nose to the grindstone and get to work again,” he said.
Krawetz said there was also another side to Wall the public didn’t see – one who he had many personal and sensitive conversations with, like over the passing of MLAs in recent times.
“Those are things that occur behind closed doors.”
Gratitude, goodbyes on Twitter
Former NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale and former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean probably agree on few things.
But one of them is just how much Premier Wall loves Saskatchewan.
Shortly after Wall announced he would be stepping away from politics after 10 years in the role of premier, messages of gratitude and praise rolled in on social media from people on all ends of the political spectrum and in all fields of politics.
Thanks, @PremierBradWall, for your years of service and work for the province & people of Saskatchewan. All the best in your retirement.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 10, 2017
— Brian Jean (@BrianJeanAB) August 10, 2017