Also, if anyone in Saskatchewan has “political withdrawal” symptoms after following this race, remember that you can always follow the Ontario PCs. (Update: I guess the PCs are totally imploding as we speak; their president just quit.)
I officially have no life for the next three weeks as I will be covering a ton of important news. On Saturday, I plan to brave the snow on the roads to cover the Sask Party leadership vote at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon. I plan to cover it on Twitter at my handle @JohnWCairns, and at the News-Optimist’s account which is @TheNewsOptimist. I will also be filing stories soon after for the paper.
The winner of this vote replaces Brad Wall to be the new Premier of Saskatchewan. The victor also takes over a party with a massive legislative majority and a double-digit lead in the polls, in spite of various problems the party faced in the past year such as an unpopular budget.
Despite all that, they are still ahead. Likely, Saskatchewan will continue to be one of the more boring provinces for politics for the foreseeable future — something that cannot be said for other provinces, like Ontario.
Can you believe what happened there? Indeed, Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown resigned this week after two women accused him of sexual misconduct! The way this played out was a real gong show, with a strange press conference where a very shellshocked-looking Brown totally denied the accusations and pledged to fight them. That was followed by members of his own staff resigning and his whole party basically disowning him, before Brown finally resigned himself.
To add to this, CTV Toronto reporter Paul Bliss, who reported this story, was just suspended today for sexual misconduct! So, things have gone completely bat crazy in Ontario, it’s like Rob Ford never left (RIP).
All I will say is I could never imagine any of these five individuals running here in Saskatchewan getting caught up in something like this. They all seem like fine upstanding citizens. Anyway, one of them will be the new Premier as of tomorrow.
This is not the only major news I am covering. I am also covering the murder trial of Gerald Stanley happening in Battleford next week, and I also plan to be on social media for that one. This is a very big deal, the whole provincial media will be there and even some national ones, too. I’ll tell you more about it in a later post.
I may be out of province at the moment, but even here in the Okanagan I was able to follow the live streaming continuing coverage on CKOM radio of Premier Brad Wall’s announcement that he is retiring, effective when a new leader of the Saskatchewan Party is chosen.
This news comes the same week that the Saskatchewan Party marked the 20th anniversary of its founding, when four Liberal and four PC MLAs left their parties to form the new entity. The party didn’t take power, however, until after Wall became leader.
Honest reaction: this is the end of an era — a great era of life in Saskatchewan. No doubt, Wall will go down as one of the province’s great Premiers, and as one of the most skilled politicians the province has produced, right up there with names such as Diefenbaker, Douglas and the like. Unlike so many other big-name politicians in this province, who’ve seen their careers end in defeat, Wall is getting out while still on top. Good for him.
And now a leadership race is on, but don’t ask me who the next Premier is going to be. This race looks wide open.
Now that I am back after a heavy week covering no end of news (the city budget etc.), here are links to all the stories of mine that ran in the past week on the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race.
My story on the NDP leadership debate at North Battleford is here. My story from the media scrums with the four candidates is here. Also, I finally got around to interviewing candidate Erin Weir and that can be found here.