As 2017 winds down, Premier Brad Wall reflected on a year that provided many challenges and highlights, as well as the end of a decade of leadership.
Wall said that, to him, one of the highlights that stood out this year was the provincial budget.
"We went through a very difficult budget and that maybe seems strange as a highlight, but frankly, it is the beginning of a three-year plan to get back to balance," he said. "It marks a different approach to our finances than a lot of provinces are taking. It marks an important move in taxes away from the sort of taxes that hurt investment, like taxes on business or personal income. It also moves us away from along term reliance on resource revenue. So I think that was an important step. That's why I would pick a difficult budget as one of the standout moments of the year."
Wall added that the budget was the Buckley's mixture budget. He said it tastes awful, but believes it's going to work.
As 2017 and his time as Premier wrap up, there are still some things Wall left unfinished, much to his frustration
"Early on in our government all of our budgets were balanced - these last three years have not been," he said. "That bothers me. I wish the budget balanced this year as I retire, and there is still a gap that is still is unacceptable between First Nations unemployment and overall unemployment - we've seen some improvement but not nearly enough."
As we say goodbye to both 2017 and Wall's time as Premier, he says that the most unexpected thing that happened this year to him was on the last day of the legislature.
"I think how emotional the last day in the legislature was," he said. "I've been a political nerd for a long time, so it has been a dream of mine to be able to take a seat in legislature or parliament when I was younger."
"I got to do that - every dream I've ever had regarding a career has come true, more than I would have ever imagined. I was just happy and honoured to be the MLA for Swift Current; then I got to do this other job for ten years, which has been remarkable, so the last day in the legislature is the answer, I had a hard time getting through my speech."
Wall served as the Premier for ten years, and the MLA for Swift Current for 18 years and says looking forward he hopes that the candidates can help him finish as he started.
"The province will be good shape. We have a long-term [plan] to get the balance out. All of the candidates have said that they are going to maintain the general plan, they might make adjustments and that's why you want leadership, that's why you want a renewal - people will have a different perspective perhaps than I did or the cabinet that was there for the last while."