One of the most popular provincial leaders has unexpectedly announced he is stepping down.
In a video called "Thank You Saskatchewan" released on his YouTube page, Premier Brad Wall announced he is stepping down.
"I've always thought at the ten year mark—if I was so fortunate to serve that long—might be right time to reevaluate," Wall says in the video. "I've decided that now is the time for renewal. It's time for me to retire from politics."
November would mark the 51-year-old's ten-year anniversary as premier of the province. In the video, Wall goes on to say that he has asked his party, the Saskatchewan Party, to start the process of selecting a new leader—Wall will continue to serve in the interim.
Wall was first elected to serve as a MLA in 1999. Five years later, in 2004, he was elected as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party and served as the leader of the opposition for three years. In the 2007 election, after leading in the polls for almost the entirety of the race, the Saskatchewan Party won making Wall premier. From here he guided his party through two more elections including a landslide victory in 2011.
Wall was beloved by conservatives across the country during his tenure for his outspokenness but his time didn't come without controversy—the most prominent being a land scandal he hasn't been able to shake. However, in recent days, the once immensely popular Wall saw his polls slipping after the announcement of an unpopular austerity budget that saw the cutting of public libraries, and public transit funding. To further his slip into unpopularity, many saw the economic campaign that Wall and the Saskatchewan Party ran in 2016 as fear mongering.
At the end of the video, Wall says that he believes it's time for a new perspective to oversee the province.
"This was such a difficult decision to make, it's hard to lay this duty down—to retire of what has been, and what will always be, the honour of my working life," said Wall in his retirement video.
"But it is time."
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