History of the Saskatchewan Party
In the spring of 1997, a small group of Progressive Conservative and Liberal MLAs launched a landmark initiative that would forever change the face of Saskatchewan politics.
They began talks with other Conservatives, Liberals, federal Reformers and like-minded individuals to create a new party that could rally the growing sentiment for change in Saskatchewan under a single party banner.
On August 8th 1997, former Progressive Conservative Leader Bill Boyd and former Liberal Opposition Leader Ken Krawetz announced the formation of the Saskatchewan Party.
The new Saskatchewan Party Caucus in the Legislature was formed by four former Conservative MLAs (Bill Boyd, Dan D'Autremont, Ben Heppner, and Don Toth) and four former Liberal MLAs. (Bob Bjornerud, June Draude, Rod Gantefoer, and Ken Krawetz)
Here are some other dates of importance in the Party's history:
August 11, 1997: Ken Krawetz selected by the Caucus to serve as Interim Leader.
September 10, 1997: Glenn Hagel, Speaker of the Saskatchewan Legislature, declares the Saskatchewan Party Caucus to be the Official Opposition in the Legislature.
September 17, 1997: After a petition drive to receive the required 2,500 signatures, the Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan registers the Saskatchewan Party as an official political party.
November 14, 1997: The Saskatchewan Party holds its Founding Meeting in Saskatoon. Participants establish the Party's initial policies and a draft constitution.
November 21, 1997: The Saskatchewan Party membership reaches 1,000.
December 1, 1997: Leadership campaign begins; Rod Gantefoer, Elwin Hermanson and D.F. Yogi Huyghebaert enter the race. The Campaign Committee establishes one member, one vote mail in ballot procedures.
April 20, 1998: Elwin Hermanson elected first Leader of the Saskatchewan Party.
May 1, 1998: Saskatchewan Party membership exceeds 5,000.
October 31, 1998: Saskatchewan Party Policy Convention; members pass Constitution and begin discussion of Party's Election Platform.
June 28, 1999: Wayne Elhard wins a by-election in Cypress Hills and becomes the first MLA to be elected under the Saskatchewan Party banner.
September 16, 1999: The Saskatchewan Party elects 25 MLAs in the 1999 Provincial Election.
June 26, 2000: D. F. Yogi Huyghebaert wins Wood River by-election.
November 15, 2001: Saskatchewan Party Leader, Elwin Hermanson, launches the Grow Saskatchewan Plan at the Party's Annual Convention. The plan proposes to grow Saskatchewan by 100,000 people in ten years.
October 4, 2002: Jason Dearborn is elected in the Kindersley by-election.
March 17, 2003: Wally Lorenz wins the Battleford-Cut Knife by-election.
June 26, 2003: Allan Kerpan is elected in the Carrot River Valley by-election.
November 5, 2003: The Saskatchewan Party captures 28 seats in the 2003 Provincial Election.
February 28, 2004: Elwin Hermanson steps down as Saskatchewan Party Leader. Lyle Stewart is named interim Leader of the party.
March 15, 2004: Swift Current MLA Brad Wall becomes the new Leader of the Saskatchewan Party.
September 21, 2004: Brad Wall releases his economic vision, The Promise of Saskatchewan: A New Vision For Saskatchewan's Economy, to a Commerce class at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
February 6, 2005: A policy renewal package is debated and passed by party membership at the 2005 Annual Convention.
September 24, 2006: Founding member and Martensville MLA Ben Heppner loses his battle with prostate cancer.
March 5, 2007: Nancy Heppner, daughter of the late Ben Heppner, is elected in the Martensville by-election.
November 7, 2007: The Saskatchewan Party captures 38 seats in the 2007 Provincial Election to form the first Saskatchewan Party government.
November 8, 2007: The Saskatchewan Party Government keeps its first election promise by announcing the date of the next provincial election - November 7, 2011. Legislation is introduced to set the provincial election date as the first Monday in November every four years.
November 21, 2007: Premier Brad Wall and the new Saskatchewan Party government are sworn into office.
October 21, 2008: Implemented the largest debt reduction and the largest single-year income tax reduction in Saskatchewan history.
March 18, 2009: Delivered the largest education property tax cut in Saskatchewan history.
June 23, 2010: Founding member and Melfort MLA Rod Gantefoer announces he's retiring from politics and won't seek re-election in the 2011 provincial election.
October 21, 2010: Premier Brad Wall stands up for Saskatchewan’s strategic potash resources, declaring the hostile takeover does not provide a net benefit to the province and the country.
November 7, 2011: The Saskatchewan Party led by Premier Brad Wall is re-elected and forms a majority government, winning 49 of 58 seats. The Saskatchewan Party captured 64.2 per cent of the popular vote – higher than any other political party in Saskatchewan history. That breaks the previous record set by the Liberals in 1912 with just shy of 57 per cent of popular support.
November 8, 2011: The Saskatchewan Party government keeps its first promise made in 2011 provincial election by expanding the PST exemption on children’s clothing.
March 21, 2012: The Saskatchewan Party Government tables its fifth consecutive balanced budget while making record investments in key areas for Saskatchewan people.
October 4, 2012: The 2012-2013 record investment for highways totalled $631.5 million, second only to 2008, and on track to exceed the $2.2 billion promised in the 2011 election campaign.
October 16, 2012: Premier Brad Wall announces the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth, a vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The plan is the government’s roadmap to ensure growth continues, to meet the challenges of a growing province and to ensure all Saskatchewan people are enjoying the benefits of growth.
December 18, 2012: Saskatchewan’s population numbers show the province growing at its fastest pace since 1921, bringing the total population of the province to 1,086,564 people.