Gordon Wyant joins Saskatchewan Party leadership race

Justice Minister Gordon Wyant has announced he will run for the Saskatchewan Party leadership, joining three other candidates in the race to replace outgoing Premier Brad Wall.

MLA joins 3 other candidates in race to replace Brad Wall

Gordon Wyant says he will visit every constituency during his campaign to replace Brad Wall as the new Saskatchewan Party leader and Saskatchewan Premier. (Matthew Garand/CBC News)

Justice Minister Gordon Wyant has announced he will run for the Saskatchewan Party leadership, joining three other candidates in the race to replace outgoing Premier Brad Wall.

Wyant made the announcement in Saskatoon Friday morning.

The Saskatoon Northwest representative received support from former Sask. Party MLA June Draude and current Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart.

Wyant is a Saskatoon lawyer who has also been a trustee for the Saskatoon Public School Board and served on Saskatoon city council for three terms. He was first elected as MLA for Saskatoon Northwest in a 2010 byelection.  

Wyant joins cabinet ministers Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Jeremy Harrison and Ken Cheveldayoff in the run for the leadership.

Wyant vows to hear concerns

Wyant said on Friday he would make listening a hallmark of his leadership if he wins, adding that the government failed to hear some concerns when preparing its latest budget.

"I think as we went through this budget deliberation, I think there were some people that we didn't listen to," said Wyant.

"We need to pay a bit more attention to education and to our health-care system and I think that if we do that, we'll be making better decisions as we go forward."

He said that would need to happen while keeping a balanced budget in mind.

Gordon Wyant has officially announced he is running for the Saskatchewan Party leadership after Premier Brad Wall announced his retirement earlier this month. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

First Nations relations and rural crime report

Wyant also answered questions about the provincial relationship with First Nations after the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations raised concerns about the recommendations in a new rural crime report.  

Under the plan, the province will launch a protection and response team made up of 120 RCMP and municipal police officers, 98 provincial conservation officers and 40 commercial vehicle enforcement officers with the province's Ministry of Highways. 
(Saskatchewan government)

A key part of the rural crime prevention plan calls for all members of the unit to be armed, and for all members to have the power to detain and arrest people.

But the FSIN said it was not adequately consulted, and that the recommendations are excessive and unhelpful to the relationship between Indigenous people and police.

Wyant said further discussions were needed.

"Building communities with First Nations and other communities is important for the future of this province and I pledge to continue to do that," said Wyant.

"And I made that pledge directly to a number of chiefs, including [FSIN] Chief [Bobby] Cameron, earlier this week."

Wyant will have to step down from his role as justice minister while he campaigns for the party leadership, as will other candidates with cabinet portfolios.

Outgoing Premier Brad Wall announced on Aug. 10 he was retiring from politics after 14 years as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party.

The leadership convention will be held on Jan. 27, 2018.