Brad Wall honored at Sask Party convention

November 5, 2017, 6:11 pm


The Saskatchewan Party convention this weekend showed the reverence in which many in the party hold retiring Premier Brad Wall.

A record-breaking 650 delegates were in attendance, according to party officials.

“This is why I left. I wanted to step away and now that I’ve stepped away, we’re having a record convention,” said Wall, who announced in August he would retire at the end of January in hopes of bringing “renewal” to the party.

Repeatedly shown in polls to be the country’s most popular premier, Wall was among friends and fans at the Saskatchewan Party convention.

Ken Krawetz, the province’s former Finance Minister and current chief of staff to the premier, shared the story of Wall’s first election campaign. Then Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre declared Wall had “changed the way we are seen forever” and that everyone in the province is on a first-name basis with “Brad” who is, at root, a populist.

“Brad is the brand,” Eyre said.

By the time those speeches wrapped up, delegates shed tears and held up signs saying, “Thank you.”

Then political commentator Rex Murphy delivered remarks on the humility of Wall and his ability to know life as most people know it — a rarity in the insular world of politics.

The premier’s senior advisor and long-time friend Reg Downs spoke next, describing “my friend Brad” and their days together, which stretched from university dorm rooms to the premier’s office.

By the time the premier got up to speak, the room was drained emotionally. People — Wall included — had cried, wiped the tears away, and then cried some more.

Wall told the crowd he just wanted to “simply say thank you” and how he believes, “It is time for me to go.”

Speaking with reporters afterward, Wall said the remarks were hard to deliver.

“It was just hard to just look at them cheering me when I really just want to cheer them because … they have supported me and allowed me to do this,” he said.