The governing Saskatchewan Party paid tribute to Brad Wall Saturday in Saskatoon, commending his decade as premier in a 45-minute long series of speeches and video.
Wall was showered with praise from several Sask. Party stalwarts and supporters, including founding member Ken Krawetz – who now serves as Wall’s chief of staff.
“It doesn’t matter which area of government you look at, the positive influence of Brad Wall is there,” he said.
Wall is set to retire as premier of Saskatchewan in January, making way for one of five candidates vying to replace him.
Over 600 delegates were in attendance for the tribute, which was made during the party’s convention at TCU Place.
He was commended for standing against the federal government’s proposed carbon tax, maintaining Saskatchewan’s AAA credit rating and approving new hospitals across the province.
Political pundit Rex Murphy also took the podium to speak to Wall’s leadership.
“He provides a singular example of someone who’s had a long-term in politics, and somehow … has remembered the business that he is at,” Murphy said.
“I salute his ability to remain connected while in office.”
Murphy also commented on Wall’s defence of the oil industry, noting it isn’t easy to stand against the rest of the country and the federal government.
“The gift that Brad Wall gave to politics in Canada is that he was not ashamed to say what is actually, obviously true,” Murphy said.
Bronwyn Eyre applauded Wall’s thoughtfulness in cabinet meetings, fondly describing his ability to listen and ask questions.
She also described his “kiss of death” on policy ideas, often coming after a convoluted proposal prepared by bureaucrats.
“He might take off his glasses, rub his eyes and say ‘I don’t know about this,’ then sort of purse his lips and look into the middle of distance,” Eyre said.
Wall thanked the party and members for their support, wiping back tears in one of his last speeches as premier.
“I do believe it’s time for me to go,” he said.
Wall also focused on his wife Tammy, noting she sacrificed a lot to allow him to go on his provincial journey.
“She has been my best friend and a wonderful wife who has deserved so much better,” he said.
Brad Wall will officially resign as premier following a leadership vote in Saskatoon on Jan. 27.