Saskatchewan Party sets Jan. 27 as date for vote to replace Premier Brad Wall

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Party will choose a new leader to replace Premier Brad Wall on January 27, saying the successor will be decided through a one-member, one vote system at a convention in Saskatoon.

“The Saskatchewan Party looks forward to a robust campaign, with many leadership candidates entering the race,” Saskatchewan Party president James Thorsteinson said in a news release following a meeting of the party’s provincial council in Regina.

“I know that our next leader and premier will continue the work of the past decade by continuing to keep Saskatchewan growing.”

Wall has announced he is retiring from politics once his successor is chosen, saying the province and the party will benefit from a fresh perspective.

The party says candidates must file their nominations by Nov. 24.

Economy Minister Jeremy Harrison announced Saturday that he’ll seek the leadership, joining Tina Beaudry-Mellor, who was social services minister.

Harrison heaped praise on Wall in a news release announcing his candidacy and vowed to continue the outgoing premier’s fight against the federal government’s plans for a carbon tax.

“Premier Brad Wall has been the steadfast and charismatic captain of our team for the past decade, providing incredible leadership to help grow our economy,” said Harrison, who has represented the Meadow Lake constituency since 2007 and is also a former MP for northern Saskatchewan.

“I will fight a federally imposed carbon tax with every fibre of my being and with every tool at our province’s disposal.”

Wall has said ministers will be required to leave cabinet immediately if they decide to run, and has set a deadline of Aug. 28 for them to make a decision.

Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said he wants to present a budget update later this month before he announces whether he’ll jump into the race.

Justice Minister Gord Wyant, Parks Minister Ken Cheveldayoff and Health Minister Jim Reiter have said they’re close to making decisions on whether they’ll run.

The party also released rules for the leadership contest. A filing fee of $25,000 will be required from all candidates and there will be a campaign expense limit of $250,000.

Candidates will also be required to disclose the names of all donors who made donations of $250 or more.

The membership sales deadline in order to be eligible to vote is December 8, 2017, which the party says will ensure all members that request a mail-in ballot receive one.

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