Jeremy Harrison said he was as shocked as anyone else to hear of Premier Brad Wall’s retirement, but it made him consider a run at the Saskatchewan Party leadership.
“We are considering it,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenging process as far as making what are very difficult and life-changing decisions, in both professional and personal ways.
“There’s a lot of members of caucus and members of cabinet and I’m sure some from outside who are having to make some challenging decisions about what might a future look like,” he said.
Working to become the province's next premier is not a decision to take lightly, Harrison said. Wall, who announced his resignation after 10 years yesterday, has agreed to stay on until a new premier is elected. He asked the Saskatchewan Party to begin the election process.
“I’ve seen the job close up for a long time and I know that there are some very real challenges that are associated with it,” Harrison said. “There are very difficult days and difficult decisions to make. We’ve received very flattering encouragement from a lot of folks, but all of the factors need to be weighed and we’ll be going through those sorts of decisions.”
Harrison noted the premier indicated after his announcement that he would like to see a leadership convention occur by late January, and that any minister considering vying for the party leadership would have to resign their post in the cabinet if he or she decides to run.
“There have been some requests made by the premier with regard to timeframes," Harrison said. “There’s going to have to be decisions made relatively [in the] near future on a lot of those sorts of things, but government will continue and we’ll all continue to work hard and do the best we can for the province. I’m comforted knowing that the premier is going to continue to be the premier for a number of months into the future.”
Harrison learned of Wall's retirement late Wednesday during a caucus meeting.
“There was a lot of emotion in the room I can tell you, especially for those of us who have been very privileged to work with him and serve with him and have been for a decade now,” he said. “The premier is very comfortable with that decision, I’m really quite sad as one of his ministers – I have lots of memories with him. He has a record that he can be very proud of – job creation, economic growth, population growth, and I think history is going to be very kind to Premier Wall – a record of genuine accomplishment."
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