Saskatchewan MLAs pay tribute to Premier Brad Wall on final day in legislature

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Saskatchewan MLAs pay tribute to Premier Brad Wall on final day in legislature

A prankster, family man and a tireless advocate for Saskatchewan — that's how colleagues remembered Premier Brad Wall on his last day in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

"Some of you will know that over the years I've played the occasional prank," deputy premier Don Morgan said Thursday.

"But you should know that no matter what I would do, he would have to top it."

To laughter from the rows of MLAs and those packed into the gallery, Morgan told stories of his and Wall's shenanigans, while tabling a motion calling for the House to pay tribute to Wall after 18 years in the assembly.

Morgan told one story of when, after hanging a metre-long campaign poster of his own face in the premier's bathroom, he was accused of being disrespectful to his office — only to drive to a Tim Hortons weeks later and discover that poster on the passenger side of his car.

"An elderly lady looked at the picture and said, 'Why don't you get your real face airbrushed like that picture?'" said Morgan.

Tearfully, Minister of Environment Dustin Duncan recalled first meeting Wall while in university in 2001, when the future premier came to speak to the youth wing of the Saskatchewan Party.

Making Saskatchewan better

Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer, who was among those elected with Wall in 1999, said he made her a better person and Saskatchewan a better province. 

From the Opposition benches, NDP interim leader Nicole Sarauer joined in the tribute to Wall. At one point, she joked that she didn't care much for politics back when Wall was elected as an MLA  in 1999, and she was 13, but said he's been able to effectively adapt as times changed during his years in office.

She said that politics aside, his commitment and dedication to serving the province is worthy of gratitude. 

Honoured as servant

"Brad Wall is without question the most successful conservative premier in our province's history," said Sarauer, saying that after a decade in office and having to govern during an economic downturn, he's still ranked as Canada's most popular premier.

"So I think he'll understand and it's fair to say that for a number of reasons, there are many in our party who are not too sad to see the premier go on to other things."

Wall will officially stay on as premier until the Saskatchewan Party elects its new leader on Jan. 27.