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

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

Humane Society Receives Big Boost With $5000 Grant

The humane society has recently received a $5000 grant from the Western Financial western community foundation. Angela Prette with the humane society was extremely happy with the amount of the grant…

Bitter Winds Sticking Around

After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is…

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide