It's been nearly ten years since the Saskatchewan Party, lead by Brad Wall, took power in the Legislative Building of Saskatchewan.
Thursday morning, through Facebook, Premier Brad Wall announced he will be retiring from politics.
"I've always thought that the ten-year mark, should I be so fortunate to serve that long, might be the right time to re-evaluate," said the Premier in his Facebook video this morning. "It's time for me to retire from politics."
Wall said in his video that he has asked the Sask Party to begin the process for electing a new leader and will continue to serve as Premier until the new leader is chosen.
The announcement comes just two days after the Saskatchewan Party celebrated the 20 year anniversary of their formation. Wall became the leader of the Saskatchewan Party in 2004, being elected the 14th Premier of Saskatchewan November 21, 2007. The election in 2011 saw the Saskatchewan Party win the third largest majority in Saskatchewan history with 64.25% of the popular vote and the election in 2016 was the first time since 1925 that any party other than the NDP or CCF had won a third consecutive majority.
"It's easy to forget how things were in the province just ten years ago," he noted in his video. "Remember the questions we used to ask. Could our population get over and stay over a million people? Could we put an end to the near certainty that young people would look first to some place outside of Saskatchewan for their future and why, in a province as blessed with resources and amazing and innovative people as ours, would we have the worst job creation record in all of Canada, as we did just ten years ago."
Throughout the video, Premier Wall seemed quite proud of the "Decade of Growth" that Saskatchewan has seen.
"We came to office, some say naively," he noted. "With a vision and a plan for growth, seeking to put an end to these questions, together with you, the people of Saskatchewan."
Ten years ago, according to Premier Wall, the Saskatchewan Party set a goal to raise the population by 100,000 people. Since then, the population has grown by 160,000, surpassing the 1 million people mark. He added that 67 thousand jobs have been added and Saskatchewan has gone from the worst job creation in Canada to the second best. He also noted that, although credit for the growth goes to the people of Saskatchewan, his party did their best to help with new, more aggressive immigration laws, the graduate retention program, engagement in the world markets and lower income taxes.
He also noted that the dividends from this growth went back to improving Saskatchewan and the lives of the people living here, with many highways being built or repaired along with building 40 new and replacement schools, long term care facilities, a Children's hospital and a new psychiatric ward. He also noted that Saskatchewan, which had the longest surgical wait times in Canada in 2007, now has among the shortest wait times, with 750 more doctors, 3000 more nurses and the introduction of private surgical clinics.
Premier Wall is satisfied with the decade of growth and believes that, if Saskatchewan is going to continue to grow, "Saskatchewan needs renewal, a fresh perspective in leadership."
"It is hard to lay this duty down," he added at the end of his video. "To retire from what has been and what will always be, the honour of my working life. But it is time."
One final note that he left with the province; "Thank you Saskatchewan".
Video from Premier Brad Wall YouTube account