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Lorne Calvert

Lorne Calvert
Calvert addressing the media in 2007
13th Premier of Saskatchewan
In office
February 8, 2001 – November 21, 2007
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorLynda Haverstock
Gordon Barnhart
Preceded byRoy Romanow
Succeeded byBrad Wall
Leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party
In office
January 27, 2001 – June 6, 2009
Preceded byRoy Romanow
Succeeded byDwain Lingenfelter
Saskatchewan Leader of the Opposition
In office
November 21, 2007 – June 6, 2009
Preceded byBrad Wall
Succeeded byDwain Lingenfelter
Saskatchewan Minister of Health
In office
February 3, 1995 – November 22, 1995
PremierRoy Romanow
Preceded byLouise Simard
Succeeded byEric Cline
Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services
In office
November 22, 1995 – September 21, 1998
PremierRoy Romanow
Preceded byBob Pringle
Succeeded byHarry Van Mulligen
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan
In office
March 19, 2001 – June 30, 2009
Preceded byRoy Romanow
Succeeded byDanielle Chartier
ConstituencySaskatoon Riversdale
In office
October 20, 1986 – August 16, 1999
Preceded byBud Smith
Succeeded byDeb Higgins
ConstituencyMoose Jaw Wakamow (1991–1999)
Moose Jaw South (1986–1991)
Personal details
Born
Lorne Albert Calvert

(1952-12-24) December 24, 1952 (age 71)
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Political partySaskatchewan New Democratic Party
Alma materUniversity of Saskatchewan (Regina Campus and St. Andrew's College)
ProfessionMinister

Lorne Albert Calvert SOM (born December 24, 1952) is a Canadian politician who served as the 13th premier of Saskatchewan, from 2001 to 2007. Calvert served as leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saskatoon Riversdale from 2001 to 2009, when he retired. He also served as the MLA for Moose Jaw Wakamow from 1986 to 1999.

Calvert became premier when he was elected NDP leader in 2001 after the retirement of Roy Romanow. Campaigning on the party's social democratic legacy, Calvert led the party to a majority government in the 2003 provincial election. His party was defeated in the 2007 election by Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party. Late in Calvert's tenure as premier, the provincial economy—buoyed by rapidly rising natural resource prices—began a significant upturn.

Early life and career

Calvert was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He received his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Regina.[1] Initially planning to study law, Calvert ultimately decided to study theology and pursue the ministry within the United Church of Canada.[2] After attending St. Andrew's College seminary in Saskatoon, he was ordained as minister of the United Church in 1976 and served as minister of several rural congregations. From 1979 to 1986, Calvert was the minister of the pastoral charge of Zion United Church in Moose Jaw.[1][3]

Political career

NDP MLA (1986–1999)

Calvert entered provincial politics ahead of the 1986 provincial election, running as a New Democrat on a platform of prohibiting the construction of a proposed casino in Moose Jaw.[citation needed] He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as the Member (MLA) for the constituency of Moose Jaw South, serving in the Official Opposition to Grant Devine's Progressive Conservative government. Calvert was re-elected in the 1991 and 1995 elections, when the NDP was both times elected to majority governments under the leadership of Roy Romanow.[3] Calvert held a number of cabinet positions during his tenure, including as associate minister of health and minister responsible for SaskPower and SaskEnergy; from 1995, he was responsible for two large portfolios as both Minister of Health and Minister of Social Services.[3]

Romanow's tenure was noted for its fiscal conservatism, and the NDP's embrace of Third Way politics in the 1990s was divisive within the party.[4][5] Calvert decided not to run in the 1999 election—which resulted in a minority NDP government—and was succeeded by Deb Higgins in the Moose Jaw riding.

Premier of Saskatchewan (2001–2007)

In late 2000, Romanow announced that he would be retiring from politics, setting the stage for a party leadership race leading directly to the premier's office—the first such race since Woodrow Lloyd succeeded Tommy Douglas as NDP leader and premier in 1961.[6] The 2001 contest was highly contested, with seven candidates making it the biggest NDP leadership race in history. It was also the first such election to employ a one member, one vote policy, rather than a delegated election.[7] Calvert joined the race, alongside former NDP MP and then-provincial justice minister Chris Axworthy, three sitting cabinet ministers in Buckley Belanger, Joanne Crofford, and Maynard Sonntag, former National Farmers Union president Nettie Wiebe, and former Young New Democrats president Scott Banda. Axworthy was the perceived frontrunner, expected to continue Romanow's legacy; Calvert and Wiebe, meanwhile, ran more leftwing campaigns, with Wiebe running an explicitly anti-neoliberal campaign, and Calvert a more traditional social democratic one, advocating for a greater focus on social programs, especially in healthcare and education.[8] Wiebe finished third, and Calvert—who led on every ballot—defeated Axworthy on the final ballot with 58% of nearly 18,000 votes.[8] With the victory, Calvert became premier on February 8, 2001.

After securing the party leadership, Calvert was elected to the legislature in a by-election in Romanow's former riding of Saskatoon Riversdale; moving to Saskatoon from Moose Jaw, Calvert campaigned on a pledge to work closely with local community groups.[9][10]

Calvert took the helm of the NDP at a time when the Saskatchewan Party—a new unified conservative political party established in 1997—appeared on the cusp of a breakthrough after reducing the NDP to a minority government in 1999 with a strong performance in rural Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Party led polling ahead of the 2003 provincial election. However, Calvert followed through on his promise to significantly increase social spending, particularly in education and healthcare, and persistently drew a stark contrast between his party's support for the province's major remaining crown corporations and Saskatchewan Party leader Elwin Hermanson's willingness to pursue privatization.[11] In November 2003, the NDP narrowly regained a majority government, winning 30 of 58 seats.[12][13]

During his full term in office, Calvert expanded child care spaces and introduced a number of targeted welfare programs. The government also began reforming immigration systems to attract more immigrants, and expanded investment in renewable energy and energy conservation.[14] Calvert's spending plans were buoyed by a renewed boom in commodity prices, which led to significant increases in resource revenue for the province.[15] Calvert instigated a tax review committee that led to corporate tax cuts, designed to bring the province more in line with its neighbours.[16] Along with tweaks to income taxes and resource royalties, this has been credited with instigating a period of rapid growth in the provincial economy.[16][17] The NDP cut the provincial sales tax down to five percent, froze tuition, and invested in highway renewal.[18]

Late in the term, Calvert became increasingly antagonistic with the federal government, a minority parliament led by Stephen Harper's Conservatives. In March 2007, Calvert argued that the clawback of non-renewable resource revenues from the equalization formula as implemented in the 2007 federal budget would leave Saskatchewan getting significantly less than had been promised.[19] Calvert instructed his government to prepare a lawsuit against the federal government, a tactic that was interrupted by the fall provincial election.[20]

Calvert and his government were defeated in the 2007 provincial election, in which management of the province's booming economy and health care became focal points.[21] The NDP's central campaign commitment was a universal drug plan capping prescription drug costs at $15.[18] Importantly, unlike Hermanson, new Saskatchewan Party leader Brad Wall made a vocal commitment not to privatize the province's crown corporations.[22] The result was a drop to 21 seats for the NDP while Wall's party won a majority government.[21] Upon defeat, Calvert expressed pride in a "good run in government" for the NDP.[18] After the election, Calvert—who retained his Saskatoon Riversdale seat—said he had no immediate plans to step down as leader, but conceded that he was unlikely to lead the party into the next election.[23]

Retirement

Just two weeks after the 2007 election, federal NDP spokesman Brad Lavigne confirmed to reporters that Jack Layton's office had asked Calvert to consider standing as a candidate in the 2008 federal election.[24] Calvert declined to run, but stated that he would support the party's federal candidates.[25]

Calvert announced on October 16, 2008 that he would be stepping down as party leader, triggering a leadership race.[26] Dwain Lingenfelter, a former cabinet minister in the government's of Romanow and Allan Blakeney, was elected the party's new leader in a four-person contest on June 6, 2009.[27] At the end of the Spring session in May 2009, Calvert touted the economic progress his government had made, and revealed that he planned to return to the United Church.[28]

Post-retirement and honours

From 2009 to 2018, Calvert was the principal at St. Andrew's College in Saskatoon.[29] In 2019, St. Andrew's awarded Calvert with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.[29]

In 2015, Calvert was named to the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.[1]

Controversies

During the 2003 election campaign, Calvert denounced and apologized for an internal cartoon that was leaked to the media, depicting Saskatchewan Party leader Hermanson loading NDP sympathizers onto rail cars—the cartoon referred to speculation that Hermanson wanted to replace civil servants with Saskatchewan Party supporters. B'nai Brith Canada stated that the cartoon "trivializes the crimes of the Holocaust and causes undeserved anguish to those who survived that evil regime".[30][31]

Personal life

Calvert is married to Betty Calvert; they have two children.[2] In 2005, Calvert made a cameo appearance on the Saskatchewan-based sitcom Corner Gas.[32] One of Calvert's longstanding hobbies was renovating vintage school and highway buses into camping vehicles.[33]

Electoral record

2007 Saskatchewan general election: Saskatoon Riversdale
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Lorne Calvert 3,524 56.11
Saskatchewan Fred Ozimey 2,040 32.48
Liberal Roman Todos 506 8.06
Green Jan Norris 121 1.93
Marijuana Michael Kereiff 89 1.42
Total valid votes 6,280 100.00
Source: Saskatchewan Archives - Election Results by Electoral Division
2003 Saskatchewan general election: Saskatoon Riversdale
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Lorne Calvert 3,608 62.72
Saskatchewan Fred Ozimey 1,302 22.63
Liberal Deneen Gudjonson 754 13.12
New Green Keith Morvick 52 0.90
Progressive Conservative Glen Schriener 37 0.64
Total valid votes 5,753 100.00
Source: Saskatchewan Archives - Election Results by Electoral Division
2001 by election: Saskatoon Riversdale
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Lorne Calvert 2,583 56.24
Saskatchewan Ted Merriman 1,547 33.68
Liberal Dwayne Roth 309 6.73
First Nations John Melenchuk 115 2.50
New Green Neil Sinclair 39 0.85
Total valid votes 4,593 100.00
Source: Saskatchewan Archives - Election Results by Electoral Division
1995 Saskatchewan general election: Moose Jaw Wakamow
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Lorne Calvert 3,803 62.95
Liberal Jim Carr 1,577 26.11
Progressive Conservative Norma Donovan 661 10.94
Total valid votes 6,041 100.00
Source: Saskatchewan Archives - Election Results by Electoral Division
1991 Saskatchewan general election: Moose Jaw Wakamow
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Lorne Calvert 6,083 67.24
Liberal Randy Roman 1,799 19.89
Progressive Conservative Lisa Acton 1,164 12.87
Total valid votes 9,046 100.00
Source: Saskatchewan Archives - Election Results by Electoral Division
1986 Saskatchewan general election: Moose Jaw South
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Lorne Calvert 4,959 58.45
Progressive Conservative Arthur Leslie Smith 2,823 33.27
Liberal Irene McKenzie 653 7.70
Western Canada Concept Phoebe Dowhy 49 0.58
Total valid votes 8,484 100.00
Source: Saskatchewan Archives - Election Results by Electoral Division

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Manke, Brent (2015-05-13). "Calvert, Moore Among Order Of Merit Recipients". Discover Moose Jaw. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  2. ^ a b "Lorne Calvert". Speakers Bureau of Canada. Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  3. ^ a b c Praud, Jocelyne. "Calvert, Lorne". The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  4. ^ McGrane, David (2008). "Which Third Way? A Comparison of the Romanow and Calvert NDP Governments from 1991 to 2007". In Leeson, Howard (ed.). Saskatchewan Politics: Crowding the Centre. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre. p. 155. ISBN 9780889772342.
  5. ^ Warnock, John W. (2004). Saskatchewan: The Roots of Discontent and Protest. Montreal: Black Rose Books. pp. 413–414. ISBN 1-55164-244-1.
  6. ^ "Romanow quits politics 'forever'". CBC News. 2000-09-26. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  7. ^ Praud, Jocelyne; McQuarrie, Sarah (2001). "The Saskatchewan CCF-NDP from the Regina Manifesto to the Romanow years". In Leeson, Howard A. (ed.). Saskatchewan Politics: Into the Twenty-First Century. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre. pp. 166–167. ISBN 0-88977-131-6.
  8. ^ a b McGrane. "Which Third Way?". Saskatchewan Politics. p. 155.
  9. ^ "Byelection day in Saskatoon Riversdale". CBC News. 2001-03-19. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  10. ^ "Calvert claims victory". CBC News. 2001-03-19. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  11. ^ Branch, Julian (2003-10-18). "Calvert unveils NDP strategy". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2023-11-16.
  12. ^ "NDP majority in Saskatchewan". CBC News. 2003-11-06. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  13. ^ Conway, John (2003-11-23). "NDP's left turn pays off". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  14. ^ McGrane. "Which Third Way?". Crowding the Centre. pp. 150–152.
  15. ^ McGrane. "Which Third Way?". Crowding the Centre. pp. 154–155.
  16. ^ a b Gray, John (2009-12-29). "Saskatchewan: A "Have" Province At Last". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2020-08-03. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  17. ^ Mandryk, Murray (2012-06-25). "Calvert's legacy may yet shine through". Regina Leader-Post. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  18. ^ a b c "NDP had a 'good run in government'". CBC News. 2007-11-07. Archived from the original on 2022-07-23. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  19. ^ "Tory MP calls Sask. premier 'liar'". Toronto Star. 2007-03-21. Archived from the original on 2024-01-28.
  20. ^ Robert, Tammy (2018-07-26). "The Saskatchewan Party's history with the issue of equalization isn't all that equal". Maclean's. Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  21. ^ a b "Expect mainstream gov't from Sask. Party: analyst". CTV News. 2007-11-08. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  22. ^ Béland, Daniel (2011-11-01). "Politics and policy in Brad Wall's Saskatchewan". Policy Options. Institute for Research on Public Policy. Archived from the original on 2016-07-14. Retrieved 2023-11-16.
  23. ^ "Victory and defeat". The Leader-Post. 2007-11-08. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03 – via canada.com.
  24. ^ French, Janet (2007-11-20). "Federal NDP woo Calvert for election". Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03 – via canada.com.
  25. ^ "Calvert all but rules out federal politics". Regina Leader-Post. 2007-11-23. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11 – via canada.com.
  26. ^ "Former Sask. premier to step down as NDP leader". CBC News. 2008-10-16. Archived from the original on 2022-07-23. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  27. ^ "Saskatchewan New Democrats choose Dwain Lingenfelter as leader". CBC News. 2009-06-06. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  28. ^ "Lorne Calvert wraps up career in legislature". CBC News. 2009-05-14. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  29. ^ a b "Calvert, Kapila and Walton chosen to receive honorary degrees". St. Andrew's College News. University of Saskatchewan. 2019-01-15. Archived from the original on 2019-05-27.
  30. ^ "Sask. NDP distances itself from 'Holocaust' cartoon". CBC News. 2003-10-15. Archived from the original on 2014-03-29.
  31. ^ "Sask. Party still furious over 'Nazi' cartoon". CTV News. 2003-10-15. Archived from the original on 2005-12-05.
  32. ^ "Prime minister to appear on sitcom". CBC News. 2006-08-28. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  33. ^ Graham, Jennifer (2007-11-07). "Calvert in tough battle for fifth mandate". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2024-04-07. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
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