Brad Wall says he's 'done' with politics
Published Thursday, January 4, 2018 5:28PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 5, 2018 11:04AM EST
OTTAWA – Outgoing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says there is no chance he'll enter federal politics, declaring he is "done" with political life altogether.
"Now is the right time, both for the province, the people I think, and also the government to be renewed… I'm grateful and I’m done with politics," Wall told CTV Power Play host Don Martin.
In the premier's exit interview, Wall said that while he’s not plotting any return to elected life, he will "be a political nerd until the end."
After leading the province for 10 years, under the Saskatchewan Party, Wall announced in August he would be stepping down as premier as soon as his replacement is chosen.
The party will vote for its new leader Jan. 27 at a convention in Saskatoon.
When Martin asked if there was any possibility of him entering federal politics, Wall responded: "No there's not."
The Swift Current, Sask., resident has been a member of the legislative assembly since 1999 and took power of the province’s top office in 2007.
"If someone would have told me, 'Look, you’re going to be able to do this job,' which has been really my dream job, for 10 years, I probably would have had some doubts about that, especially given the current political realities and the impact of those realities on longer-term careers," Wall said.
Questions federal understanding of Saskatchewan
He hopes that the people of Saskatchewan think the province has upped its federal engagement since he's been at the helm. Wall said it was a priority for him to be a key player in the federation, though he's had a number of disagreements with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, namely on energy development and the carbon tax.
"I worry sometimes about the unelected part of the government maybe having even a less of an understanding of Saskatchewan and Alberta than the prime minister or any elected individual in the government," Wall said. He finds that concerning because he thinks the unelected part can have a "disproportionate influence" in the federal government, mentioning Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts.
While he's been able to see population growth over the last decade, there won’t be a balanced budget provincially for three years.
Last spring, Wall's government tabled a deeply unpopular budget that proposed cutting funeral benefits for the poor, shutting down inter-city bus service, cutting library funding by more than half, and raising the provincial sales tax from five to six per cent.
The funeral benefit and library funding proposals were later walked back.
Wall said his last "Buckley’s mixture budget" will taste bad, "but it’s going to work."
His advice? Walk a dog
Despite the tough actions he’s had to take, Wall has consistently polled as the most popular premier in the country.
His advice for politicians? "There's an appreciation for humility." He suggests getting a dog, walking the dog, and cleaning up after it.
"If you've got your little baggie in your hand, and you’re cleaning up after your dog… I think it’s a lot harder to get arrogant about anything."