Scott Moe has been elected the new leader of the Saskatchewan Party – and premier-designate of the province.
Moe beat out Alanna Koch, on the fifth and final ballot, garnering 53 per cent of the vote.
“Tonight, my commitment to you and to everyone across this province is that I will always stand with you,” Moe told cheering supporters.
“I will stand with your community and I will always stand with Saskatchewan and our party will always stand with Saskatchewan.”
Moe takes over from Brad Wall, who has consistently ranked as one of the country’s most popular and well-known premiers.
Wall enjoyed unbridled economic and political success throughout much of his time as premier, leading his party to three straight majority governments.
He called it quits to the surprise of many last August when public anger was lingering over an austerity budget and his government was stinging from scandals.
Wall pitched his departure as an opportunity for renewal within the Saskatchewan Party, which has been in power since 2007.
Moe will lead a province in a very different fiscal position than the one Wall enjoyed during much of his tenure.
During the leadership race, Moe committed to reinstating the PST exemption on crop, health, and life insurance, and promised a five per cent workforce reduction in the executive government and Crown corporations through retirement and attrition.
Moe also said he would replace the Economy Ministry with a new Ministry of International Trade and Exports, which he said would help grow and diversify Saskatchewan exports.
Low resource prices have led to large public deficits despite a recent increase to the provincial sales tax and deep program cuts.
An investigation into a government land deal is in the hands of out-of-province prosecutors and could lead to charges.
The government is locked in a fight with the federal Liberals over Saskatchewan’s refusal to bring in a carbon tax, and is feuding with Alberta over trade issues.
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Nicole Sauer congratulated Moe on his win, but said it is more of the same as under Wall.
“For the people of Saskatchewan, it’s going to be the same bad management and cruel and heartless cuts,” Sauer said in a release.
Moe served as minister in a number of departments for Wall, including environment and advanced education.
He is the MLA for Rosthern-Shellbrook, first elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2016.
With files from Global News