Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party easily won re-election in the Prairie province, garnering 62 per cent of the vote and winning 51 of 61 seats. The NDP won the other ten.
Premier Wall answered Campaign Life Coalition’s questionnaire in which he said he was “pro-life” but claimed the Canada Health Act dictates there is nothing his government can do on abortion. On sex-ed, Wall said he believes parents are the “first educators” of their children and that he would respect parental rights in education.
Social issues did not come up during the brief four-week election. CLC’s Jeff Gunnarson told The Interim it could be surmised from the fact that the three Saskatchewan Party candidates who answered the group’s questionnaire with pro-life answers were not harmed by their position on the issue. “Political strategists tell candidates not to answer the questionnaire,” said Gunnarson. “The media claims being pro-life is a political liability. But in the Saskatchewan election, it did not harm the three candidates CLC rated as pro-life.”
Gunnarson said he predicts the provincial government might be more open to conscience protection for health care workers and more stringent standards on euthanasia and assisted suicide once provinces become responsible for implementing federal law on the matter.
While Wall denies any interest in the federal Conservative leadership race, many conservatives concerned about a Red Tory takeover of the party may be looking at the premier’s political record of success – three consecutive majorities – as a possible contender. Gunnarson said “social conservatives are looking for a champion” and “Wall could be it if he shows leadership on a number of life and family files at the provincial level over the next few months.”