REGINA — There were tears and tributes as Brad Wall bid farewell to the Saskatchewan legislature Thursday and looked forward to the next chapter of his life as “just Brad” after a decade as premier.
Wall gave his final speech to the house after an hour of memories and praise shared by colleagues and opponents alike. Wall is retiring next month after holding the Swift Current seat for the Saskatchewan Party for almost 20 years.
Wall reminisced about giving up his private identity for a public one when he first ran for office in 1999. He said he never lost a feeling of awe when he walked through the front doors of the legislature to represent his community.
“I have been humbled and blessed with the honour of my working life,” Wall told his colleagues and many guests sitting in the gallery.
“I’ve gotten too much credit for the good things and not enough blame for the bad things. I’m so grateful to my colleagues and my family.”
He said the names on the doors of ministry offices change, but the institution of democracy will remain. After almost two decades as the MLA for Swift Current and then premier of “the province that I love,” Wall said he’s looking forward to exchanging the titles for “just Brad.”
“Just Brad, the proud and very thankful son of John and Alice Wall, the profoundly and immensely proud dad of Megan and Colter and Faith. Just Brad, the unworthy husband of the amazing Tami Wall,” he said tearfully.
“As it was 18 years ago, I want this trade. I am grateful for it and I’m excited about the prospects that will follow.”
Wall announced in August that he was retiring, saying he believed renewal would be good for the Saskatchewan Party and the province. He is staying on as premier until his successor as leader is chosen Jan. 27.