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."

More Local News

Federal Budget 2019: Local MP Dr. Robert Kitchen

Souris-Moose Mountain MP Doctor Robert Kitchen didn’t sugarcoat his opinion on the federal budget delivered in Ottawa on Tuesday. “This is all staged to be a cover-up,” Kitchen said, alluding to the…

Wildlife Federation Voices Displeasure over Office Closures

Last week the Ministry of Environment announced the closure of 19 field offices, including the one here in Estevan. The decision was a result of budgte cuts and will impact 19 jobs, three of which…

Some Results From Last Nights EPS Board Meeting

The EPS held there police board meeting last night and while there was nothing extraordinary there were a few items of note. The police noted that there was a slight decrease in property crimes in…

Provincial Budget Investing In Intersection Safety

The 2019-20 Budget is balanced and is providing support for mental health and for vulnerable families to increasing funding to classrooms and improvements to highway safety. To improve safety at…

Street Closure Due To Sewer Replacement

There is a road closure in the Energy City today. Safety Coordinator with the City Of Estevan Helen Fornwald, "The City of Estevan would like to advise the public, that the 10 hundred block of Valley…

The Estevan Army Cadet Corp Holding 102nd Anniversary Vimy Remembered In April

The No.2901 Estevan Elks Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corp will be hosting the 102nd Anniversary Vimy Remembered Presentation in April. Its a way for the…

Rock Your Socks Off For Down Syndrome Awareness

On World Down Syndrome Day, Thursday 21 March 2019, the Down Syndrome community is calling upon every person with Down syndrome to tell the world to “leave no one behind”. Kala Wock local resident on…

Recreational Needs Assessment

The announcement was made by the City of Estevan yesterday about a new Recreational Needs Assessment that has already started to gather information from our community about what our city needs moving…

City in Holding Pattern Awaiting Carbon Tax Impact

Even the most devoted fans of April Fools Day aren't looking forward to the first of the month this year as the federally instituted carbon tax looms. The exact nature of the tax's impact on…

Provincial Budget 2019: First Look

A balanced budget, as promised. Saskatchewan Finance Minister Donna Harpauer delivered the 2019-20 budget in the Legislature Wednesday afternoon, posting a $34 million surplus. The budget includes… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide