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Brad Wall says Notley broke Alberta's brand but Kenney can fix it

11 301 4719

When Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party won his province’s election on Nov. 7, 2007, the outlook and economic fortunes of Alberta’s eastern neighbour changed virtually overnight.

It was as though an economic switch had been turned on and suddenly darkness turned to light.

Capital investment came flooding into the province, the brain drain stopped and the provincial population increased to its highest levels in history. Saskatchewan went from being an economic basket case to an economic breadwinner — moving from a so-called have-not province to a net contributor to Confederation.

Like Alberta today, Saskatchewan was run by an NDP government — first under Roy Romanow and then Lorne Calvert for 16 years. Considered a “conservative” and pragmatic NDP government, it actually balanced its books. The problem was, it was not sending the message to the rest of the country and the world that Saskatchewan was open for business. On the contrary, many of its policies were predatory toward business.

Wall changed all that seemingly overnight with his words and actions, through trade missions to foreign markets, assertive pro-business policies and family-friendly taxation.

Wall, who was reached Tuesday by telephone in Saskatchewan, was his characteristic humble self, giving much of the credit to the people of Saskatchewan, and some to good timing as well as sound fiscal policies. One of the biggest boosts, for instance, to Saskatchewan’s oil and gas industry came courtesy of Alberta PC Premier Ed........

© Calgary Herald