Surprise, surprise: Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party cruised to victory in yesterday’s Saskatchewan election—with the party taking more than 60 per cent of the vote and 51 seats in the 61-seat legislature.
But Wall, 50, quick to regain his focus on the job—shortly after winning—told reporters that the federal government should support pipelines and energy sector workers who are out of a job.
Signalling his intentions to pressure Ottawa to champion the Energy East pipeline, Wall said: "We know they're reticent to do that, but I think it's very important that that pipeline gets approved in the economic interests of the country, in the interest of our energy sector and really in the interest of Canada coming together around a pretty important project."
Wall also said the federal government made an error when it didn’t include workers in southern Saskatchewan’s oil producing regions in changes to employment insurance benefits.
“I think the federal government has made a mistake, maybe it’s an honest mistake, and I’m going to give them that benefit of the doubt in terms of the employment insurance extension to five weeks, which ostensibly was to help the energy sector, but they missed two-thirds of our energy sector,” Wall told reporters after the win. “It’s been our experience that government is sometimes well-served frankly to say ‘I think we made a mistake here and we’re going to fix it’ and we hope the federal government will take that approach.”
NDP leader Cam Broten suffered a crushing defeat as he lost his Saskatoon Westview riding to the Saskatchewan Party’s David Buckingham by 232 votes. Overall, the NDP ended up winning just 10 out of 61 seats available—taking just over 30 per cent of the vote.
“Now I’m going to spend a couple of days with my family, speak with my colleagues, and consider how we move forward,” said Broten in a statement released Tuesday.