After 18 years as the MLA for Weyburn-Big Muddy and 15 years as a cabinet minister in a number of portfolios, Dustin Duncan has decided he will not be seeking re-election when the writ is dropped later this year.  

“We took some time to think about it, and really, make a final decision that it’s been a great honour for the last 18 years, it’s been a big part of our life, and it’s work that I still enjoy, and (I’m) grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Weyburn-Big Muddy, and really enjoying the work that the Premier has me working on,” Duncan told Discover Weyburn about his decision to step down after the current term is over.  

The decision was one he made with his wife Amanda and his children over the Christmas holiday. While the announcement was made official Tuesday afternoon, Duncan had already told Premier Scott Moe early last month of the decision.  

First elected in a by-election in 2006, Duncan has been re-elected four times. When the Saskatchewan Party formed government in 2007, he received his first cabinet portfolio shortly after, in 2009, as the Minister of Tourism. Since then, he has served as the Minister of Health, the Minister responsible for SaskTel, the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Education, the Minister of the Crown Investments Corporation, and the Minister responsible for SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SGI.  

Looking back on his career as an MLA, Duncan shared a piece of advice he received from Ken Krawetz, the deputy premier at the time when the Saskatchewan Party formed the government.  

“I remember him saying to me, write a list of three things that you want to do for your constituents,” Duncan said. Those three things were the new hospital in Weyburn, a new health centre in Radville and improvements to Highway 39. Since 2007, all three have been completed, or are in the process of being completed. 

“So for me to be able to check those three things off that are at least either complete or in progress, will be highlights for me.” 

Other highlights for Duncan over the course of his time as the MLA for Weyburn-Big Muddy were the agreement between Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division and The Family Place, as well as the construction of Legacy Park Elementary School in Weyburn.  

As for what the future holds, Duncan is still clinging to a childhood dream but is open to whatever opportunities may come his way.  

“With spring training coming up, I’m still waiting by the phone for the Toronto Blue Jays to give me a call for an invite but I kind of think that moment has passed,” Duncan joked. “In all seriousness, we haven’t really thought too much about it. Premier Moe will keep me in cabinet until the end of the spring session, and then, obviously, with the four of us announcing yesterday, he’ll have to make some changes to the cabinet leading into the summer and into the election. We’ll just take some time over the summer, I think, honestly, just to take a bit of a breather and start thinking about the future. So, I really haven’t put too much thought into it at this point, so we’ll see what the future holds.” 

Going back to his decision to not seek re-election, Duncan acknowledged he did say back in August he would be looking to be on the ballot. Talking with his family, however, over the Christmas break helped him to make the decision he did.  

“A lot of it really has to do with the fact that our kids are getting older,” Duncan explained. “We’re getting into some pretty busy and important years of their lives. This has been 18 years for Amanda and I in terms of our lives. It takes a heavy toll on families.” 

The amount of time spent as an MLA was also a factor. Duncan was first elected to office when he was 26 years old and has spent 40 percent of his life as an MLA, and he has spent one-third of his life as a cabinet minister.  

While he is originally from Halbrite, Duncan isn’t sure if they will be making the move back to Weyburn from Regina. He said it was a decision they haven’t made yet about the future paths he and his family will take once he is out of office. 

Ultimately, Duncan wanted to make sure he expressed gratitude to those who had put their faith in him to represent him for nearly two decades.  

"I can’t thank the constituents enough. It’s been the honour of a lifetime to serve in this role, and I’ve always tried to represent myself on their behalf with just putting as much work as I needed to and had to in this role, and hopefully did so in a way that reflected well on the constituents. I just... They gave me their trust for 18 years, and in return, I worked as hard as I could to deliver the results for the people of Weyburn-Big Muddy, and I hope at the end of these 18 years, they think that it was a fair trade.”