Saskatchewan residents will soon be able to take a paddle on Grant Devine Lake and visit the Grant Devine Dam.
Those are included in a number of new structures the Wall government has named after former premiers as part of a new policy which names buildings and other provincial landmarks after past leaders.
Announced Wednesday, structures are being named after three former premiers:
–The main building at the Moose Jaw Campus of Saskatchewan Polytechnic is now known as the W. Ross Thatcher Building
–The reservoir and dam near Alameda are named Grant Devine Lake and Grant Devine Dam
–The Saskatchewan Provincial Laboratory in Regina is now the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory
Earlier this fall, the Regina Public Schools Adult Campus was renamed the Allan Blakeney Adult Campus.
“Today, we honour their legacy, we recognize their contributions and accomplishments, and we say thank you for their many years of service to Saskatchewan,” said Premier Brad Wall in the legislature.
Opposition NDP interim leader Nicole Sarauer was in agreement.
“Whatever your political stripe, we can all agree that serving this province is a great honour, and for those who served as premier it is an honour that also deserves this recognition,” she said.
The government will work with former premiers and their families, and when appropriate, with municipalities and school boards, to determine suitable structures to be renamed. Wall said the policy states a current premier shall not name a building or landmark after his immediate predecessor.
Grant Devine said it feels pretty good to have a lake and dam named after him.
“My kids are getting a kick out of it and kind of teasing me. I’m very thankful and I had so many good, solid friends and constituents in that part of the world, it feels good after 30-some years,” Devine said.
Some remember the former premier’s time in office for a rising deficit, while a number of his caucus colleagues were convicted of expense fraud.
Devine counters and said his administration went hard building and creating.
“Some people made some mistakes, that happens, and we can only apologize for them. In the bigger picture we changed the whole nature of Saskatchewan and the economic and political climate and I think most people would believe that today,” he said.
The Thatcher family released a statement:
“Our family is delighted that our father and grandfather is being honoured in his hometown of Moose Jaw that was so important to him. The children and grandchildren of Ross Thatcher wish to express our gratitude to Premier Wall and his government for making this possible.”
Wall said once he leaves office in the new year, the search for a suitable building or landmark will commence for Lorne Calvert.