Wall at the Leaders' Debate on March 23, 2016
|14th Premier of Saskatchewan|
November 21, 2007 – February 2, 2018
|Lieutenant Governor||Gordon Barnhart|
|Preceded by||Lorne Calvert|
|Succeeded by||Scott Moe|
|Leader of the Saskatchewan Party|
March 15, 2004 – January 27, 2018
|Preceded by||Elwin Hermanson|
|Succeeded by||Scott Moe|
|Member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly|
for Swift Current
August 16, 1999 – February 2, 2018
|Preceded by||John Wall|
|Succeeded by||Everett Hindley|
|Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan|
March 15, 2004 – November 21, 2007
|Preceded by||Elwin Hermanson|
|Succeeded by||Lorne Calvert|
Bradley John Wall
November 24, 1965
Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Political party||Saskatchewan Party|
|Progressive Conservative (until 1997)|
|Spouse(s)||Tami Kildaw (m. 1991)|
|Residence||Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada|
Bradley John Wall (born November 24, 1965) is a Canadian former politician who served as the 14th Premier of Saskatchewan from November 21, 2007 until February 2, 2018.
Wall was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Swift Current in 1999, and re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2016. He became leader of the Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party on March 15, 2004. He replaced Elwin Hermanson, who resigned after leading the party to defeat in the 2003 provincial election.
In the 2011 election, Wall's government won the third-largest majority in Saskatchewan's history, with 64.25% of the popular vote and 49 of the 58 seats in the legislature. The 2016 election delivered Wall 51 of the 61 seats in the newly expanded legislature, and 62.36% of the vote. This marked the first time since 1925 that a party other than the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party, or its predecessor the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Saskatchewan Section), had won a third consecutive majority mandate.
Wall announced his intention to retire as Saskatchewan Party Leader, Premier, and MLA for Swift Current on August 10, 2017. In doing so, he will become the first non-CCF/NDP Premier since 1935 to leave office for a reason other than losing a general election. Wall was succeeded as Premier on February 2, 2018 by Scott Moe. Wall resigned as MLA on the same day and a by-election was scheduled for March 1, 2018. The Saskatchewan Party candidate, Everett Hindley won the by-election and succeeds Wall.
Wall was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, where he continues to live. He is the son of Alice (née Schmidt) and John Wall, ethnic German Canadians with Mennonite Russian German roots. He attended University of Saskatchewan, and completed his post-secondary education with an honours degree in Public Administration and an advanced certificate in Political Studies.
Wall's political roots are in the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan, working as a ministerial assistant to Graham Taylor, Minister of Public Participation, Tourism, Small Business, Co-operatives and Health, and John Gerich, Associate Minister of Economic Development. Wall ran unsuccessfully for the Progressive Conservative nomination for Swift Current in April 1991.
Prior to his election, Wall was the director of business development for the City of Swift Current. In 1999, the Saskatchewan Economic Developers Association (SEDA) had presented him with the 1998 Economic Developer of the Year Award. In the early 1990s, Wall also managed a country music museum that was relocated to Swift Current from Kitchener, ON, following a significant grant from the Grant Devine government. The facility went bankrupt in 1995. Wall has also sat on a number of boards including being a founding member of the Southwest Centre for Entrepreneurial Development. Wall also started his own business, The Last Stand Adventure Company.
Wall won the Saskatchewan Party nomination for Swift Current in the 1999 election and won handily, defeating NDP incumbent John Wall (no relation) by 69 points as part of a wave of rural victories that saw the NDP cut down to a minority government. He was immediately appointed to the Saskatchewan Party's front bench as Justice Critic, and later became critic for the Crown Investments Corporation as well.
When original leader Elwin Hermanson resigned after narrowly losing the 2003 provincial election, Wall announced his candidacy for the leadership. No other candidates stepped forward, and Wall was acclaimed the party's new leader on March 15, 2004.
After becoming leader of the Saskatchewan Party, Wall committed to a review of Saskatchewan Party policies. This policy review process reached its culmination at the Saskatchewan Party's annual convention in February 2005 and resulted in a considerably more moderate policy platform designed to appeal to urban voters. Among the old resolutions that were replaced was one that called for "boot camps" for young offenders. New policy resolutions included calling for treatment for crystal methamphetamine addicts, a patient-first review of the health care system, the development of a comprehensive plan to recruit and retain health care professionals, the development of an integrated addictions strategy for young offenders who are incarcerated, a comprehensive review of the justice system to restore trust and confidence in the system, the establishment of a provincial youth justice board to address youth crime, rehabilitation and restitution measures, support for victims of crime, the establishment of a university research chair in occupational health and safety, and a review of the Workers' Compensation Board.
In September 2004, Wall released The Promise of Saskatchewan: A New Vision for Saskatchewan's Economy, a plan to grow the province's economy. In the fall of 2006, Wall released a policy paper on behalf of the Saskatchewan Party caucus, "Getting Saskatchewan Back on Track: Addressing Saskatchewan's Labour Shortage."
Wall and the Saskatchewan Party consistently led in opinion polling leading up to the 2007 election. In that election, the Saskatchewan Party won 38 of the 58 seats in the legislature, making Wall only the third centre-right premier in the province's history.
On November 7, 2011 Wall led the Saskatchewan Party to a historic landslide victory in the provincial election. The Saskatchewan Party garnered 49 seats, an increase of 11, and left the NDP with 9 seats, the smallest number of seats held by them since 1982. This was the third-largest majority government in Saskatchewan's history. The Saskatchewan Party even managed to oust NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter in his own riding.
Arguably the biggest moment of Brad Wall’s time as premier came in the fall of 2010. BHP Billiton attempted to take over Saskatchewan-based Potash Corporation. The story received national and international attention. Wall successfully lobbied the federal government to block the takeover to ensure Saskatchewan had control over this critical resource.
During Wall’s time as premier, the province experienced unprecedented population growth and, for most of his tenure, a strong economy buoyed by a robust oil, gas and potash sector. From 2007-2017, Saskatchewan grew by more than 160,000 people or 16 per cent, the most growth in any 10 year period since the 1920s. Many credit Wall with attracting new residents to Saskatchewan.
Wall is also credited with reducing Saskatchewan's surgical wait times from among the longest in Canada to among the shortest through the use of private surgical clinics within the public system. The policy was initially controversial but soon became popular due to the favourable results.
Other accomplishments include doubling supports for people with disabilities, tripling the income assistance program for low income seniors and removing 114,000 low-income people from the tax rolls completely through some of the largest income tax in the province's history.
Wall's charisma also helped him achieve political success. Noted for his quick wit and folksy charm, Wall led opinion polls as the most popular premier in Canada for almost the entirety of his tenure.
In 2016, Wall led the Sask. Party to yet another landslide victory, with the party winning 62 per cent of the popular vote.
On August 10, 2017, Wall announced that he was retiring from politics.
Wall remains active in politics, most recently in his opposition to a federally opposed carbon tax. After the Justin Trudeau government introduced the carbon tax in 2016, Brad Wall and Saskatchewan was alone in its opposition to the tax, saying it would harm competitiveness while doing little to combat emissions. However, now several premiers and many across Canada stand in strong opposition to the tax with many giving credit to Wall for being the first to take a stand.
Wall's leadership style has generally been received as popular throughout Saskatchewan and within the Saskatchewan Party caucus. However, his leadership was called into question at the end of January 2006 when MLA Brenda Bakken-Lackey resigned from the party. Bakken-Lackey cited unspecified frustrations within Saskatchewan Party caucus as being among her reasons for resigning. This led to a by-election in Weyburn-Big Muddy, which was won by the Saskatchewan Party's former caucus researcher, Dustin Duncan. At the party's 2007 annual convention, Wall received the support of 98 per cent of convention delegates for his leadership.
In the Saskatchewan Legislature's spring 2006 session, NDP MLAs revealed that Wall had worked in Gerich's office at the time when $15,000 worth of alcohol was allocated to the Minister's office. Wall admitted to the media of his partaking in the alcohol and knowing it was "wrong" and stated he considered it "an asset" to have learned from the government's activities.
On April 3, 2008, the provincial NDP released a video tape that was found at a former Conservative MP office. The tape was filmed during the 1991 Saskatchewan general election on the day of the leaders debate. The video showed Conservative MP and former Saskatchewan Party staffer Tom Lukiwski making homophobic remarks. Wall was also on the video using an exaggerated Ukrainian accent, making racist derogatory statements about former NDP Premier Roy Romanow.
In 2015, Brad Wall was named in a lawsuit against himself, Rob Norris, the former Minister of Advanced Education, and the University of Saskatchewan and its Board of Governors for the controversial firing of the President, Ilene Busch-Vishniac, after the Provost, Brett Fairbairn, fired an executive director at the university and ended his tenure for openly criticizing the university's leadership. Wall and Norris are accused of unlawfully inserting themselves into the Board's decision of firing Busch-Vishniac. The lawsuit is ongoing.
In 2017, Wall raised the story of a member of the Saskatchewan NDP who had been sexually assaulted in Question Period in response to a question about the Global Transportation Hub land deal. The story was raised without the consent of the victim, and Wall was criticized for politicising the issue of sexual assault. Interim NDP leader Nicole Sarauer described his remarks as "disgusting," and asked he withdraw his comments, and the victim took to twitter to demand an apology as well. After initially stating in the legislature that he would make "no apology," Wall later publicly apologized to the victim, saying he "was not aware" she "did not want the matter raised in this forum." It was described by Leader-Post columnist Murray Mandryk as "the worst of politics."
In 2017, Wall addressed a room of Saskatchewan Party members at a nomination meeting, where he recited a joke about the execution of Métis leader Louis Riel, who was captured and executed by the Canadian government in 1885 following the Battle of Batoche. British Columbia's Métis Federation labeled Wall's joke as "foolish" and "insensitive" and called for an apology.
After Wall's retirement, he tweeted a derogatory message in opposition to the federal carbon tax, which read "Usually when someone tells you to send in money but you’ll get more back in return, it’s a Nigerian prince." Shortly after, Wall deleted the tweet and issued an apology to Saskatchewan's Nigerian community.
Wall resides in Swift Current. He is married to Tami whom he met in 1984 when they were both students at the University of Saskatchewan, and married in 1991. Together they have three children – two daughters Megan and Faith, and a son Colter. Colter Wall is a country singer.
On May 1, 2018 Wall announced he would begin working as an advisor for the Calgary law firm Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP.
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