Saskatoon

Life after leadership: Where former Saskatchewan premiers have gone after politics

For those that came before Brad Wall, life after politics often led to positions with Saskatchewan's universities, but some continued their careers at other levels of government.

Looking back on past premiers' subsequent careers as Brad Wall prepares for resignation

What will be next for Premier Brad Wall, the latest provincial leader to tread the halls at the Saskatchewan legislature building in Regina? (Alicia Bridges/CBC)

On the day he announced he is resigning as premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall told reporters he had no immediate job prospects.

Analysts have suggested Wall could be looking at a career in the private sector and, specifically, the oil industry he is said to have championed during his time as premier.

For those that came before him, life after politics often led to positions with Saskatchewan's universities, but some continued their careers at other levels of government.

Here's a look at life after the leadership for six Saskatchewan premiers over the years.

Allan Blakeney. (Office of the Provincial Secretary)

Allan Blakeney

  • New Democratic Party
  • premier from 1971 to 1982

Blakeney studied law then worked as a senior civil servant in the Saskatchewan government before entering politics in 1960.

He led the NDP to victory in the 1971 provincial election, and remained the leader until losing the election to the Progressive Conservatives in 1982. He remained the party leader until stepping down in 1987 and left politics in 1988. 

Blakeney went on to teach constitutional law at York University in Toronto and then at the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan until 1992.

He wrote a memoir titled An Honourable Calling: Political Memoirs, which was published in 2008. Blakeney died at home in Saskatoon in 2011.

Lorne Calvert at a premiers' meeting in Edmonton in 2006. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Lorne Calvert

  • New Democratic Party
  • Saskatchewan premier from 2001 to 2007

Flanked by his wife and daughter, Calvert announced his resignation as leader of the NDP on Oct. 16, 2008.

Calvert's tenure as premier had already ended in the fall of 2007, when the NDP was ousted by the Saskatchewan Party after 16 years holding power. He remained the MLA for Saskatoon-Riversdale until 2009.

Calvert, who had been ordained as a minister of the United Church of Canada in 1976, is now the principal of St. Andrew's College at the University of Saskatchewan.

Grant Devine, shown in an undated file photo. (CBC)

Grant Devine

  • Progressive Conservative Party
  • Saskatchewan premier from 1982 to 1991

Devine studied at the University of Saskatchewan, taught there before entering politics and returned as a board member after serving nine years as premier.

He served as Progressive Conservative premier from 1982 to 1991, predating the formation of the Saskatchewan Party by former members of the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberal Party.

In 2017, Devine was appointed to the U of S board of governors — a move that the NDP described as "the latest in a series of crass partisan appointments."

Tommy Douglas, known as 'the father of medicare,' shown in Ottawa with the Parliament buildings in the background on October 1983. (Canadian Press)

Tommy Douglas

  • Co-operative Commonwealth Federation 
  • premier from 1944 to 1961

A former Baptist preacher, Douglas was Saskatchewan's longest-standing premier to date.

Best-known for setting in motion the legislation that made Saskatchewan the first province to introduce medicare, Douglas stepped down as premier to pursue a career in federal politics as leader of the New Democratic Party.

He remained the federal NDP leader until 1971 before retiring from politics in 1979. He sat on the board of directors for Husky Oil before his death in Ottawa in 1986.

William John Patterson, the first Saskatchewan-born premier of the province. (Saskatchewan Archives Board)

William John Patterson

  • Liberal Party
  • premier of Saskatchewan from 1935 to 1944

The first Saskatchewan-born premier led the province through the Depression and the Second World War. His time as premier ended when the Liberals lost the election to the CCF.

Paterson resigned as Liberal leader in 1946 before serving as the province's lieutenant-governor from 1951 to 1958.

He was also a member of the Board of Transport Commissioners.

Roy Romanow is the University of Saskatchewan Chancellor and a former premier of Saskatchewan. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Roy Romanow

  • New Democratic Party
  • Saskatchewan premier from 1991 to 2001

After almost 10 years as Saskatchewan's premier, Roy Romanow announced he was quitting politics in an emotional news conference on Sept. 26, 2000.

Shortly after leaving provincial politics, Romanow was named to lead a royal commission examining the future of health care in Canada.

He went on to become a member of the federal Privy Council through a five-year appointment to the Security and Intelligence Review Committee, before becoming the advisory board co-chair for the Canadian Index of Wellbeing from 2008 to 2013.

Romanow is now serving a three-year term as the University of Saskatchewan chancellor after being elected in November 2016.

He is also a member of the Elections Canada advisory board and the co-chair of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.


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