Saskatchewan government honours former premier Allan Blakeney, who died Saturday

Flags are flying at half-mast at the Saskatchewan legislature to honour Allan Blakeney.

Saskatchewan NDP leader and newly-elected Premier Roy Romanow (right) and former NDP Premier Allan Blakeney celebrate Romanow's election victory Oct.21

Saskatchewan NDP leader and newly-elected Premier Roy Romanow (right) and former NDP Premier Allan Blakeney celebrate Romanow's election victory Oct.21

REGINA — Flags are flying at half-mast at the Saskatchewan legislature to honour Allan Blakeney.

The former Saskatchewan premier died Saturday at the age of 85, prompting a steady stream of tributes from politicians of all political stripes.

In a statement, the province’s current premier says the legislature flags will remain at half-mast until Blakeney’s funeral.

Brad Wall also says a condolence book will be set up in the legislature for citizens to provide messages to the Blakeney family.

Wall calls Blakeney “a strong voice for Saskatchewan” who also “believed in a strong and united Canada.”

He says Blakeney served Saskatchewan well in many different roles, including those of civil servant, cabinet minister and premier.

Former federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent says Blakeney was a great Canadian and the “outstanding premier of his generation.”

“In good measure this was because his vision always extended well beyond his beloved Saskatchewan,” Broadbent said in a statement.

Blakeney served as premier between 1971 and 1982. He was a key player at the table for negotiations for the patriation of the Constitution in 1982.

Blakeney also served in several cabinet roles in the NDP government in Saskatchewan in the 1960s, including the health portfolio. He was credited for playing a big role in setting the wheels in motion to make Canada’s first publicly insured health care system a reality.

Funeral arrangements were expected to be announced on Sunday or Monday.