Grant Devine

Donald Grant Devine, SOM (born July 5, 1944) was the 11th Premier of Saskatchewan from May 8, 1982 to November 1, 1991.

Grant Devine

11th Premier of Saskatchewan
In office
May 8, 1982 – November 1, 1991
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorIrwin McIntosh
Frederick Johnson
Sylvia Fedoruk
Preceded byAllan Blakeney
Succeeded byRoy Romanow
Saskatchewan Leader of the Opposition
In office
November 1, 1991 – October 8, 1992
Preceded byRoy Romanow
Succeeded byRichard Swenson
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan
In office
April 26, 1982 – June 21, 1995
Preceded byJohn Otho Chapman
Succeeded byLarry Ward
Personal details
Donald Grant Devine

(1944-07-05) July 5, 1944 (age 76)
Regina, Saskatchewan
Political partyProgressive Conservative Party

Early lifeEdit

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, he received a B.Sc. in Agriculture degree specializing in Agricultural Economics in 1967 from the University of Saskatchewan, an M.Sc. specializing in Agricultural Economics in 1969 from the University of Alberta, an M.B.A. from the University of Alberta in 1970, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University in 1976.

A farmer, teacher and agricultural economist, Devine taught at the University of Saskatchewan in the 1970s before entering politics.

Political careerEdit

Entry into politicsEdit

Although he was defeated in a Saskatoon seat in the 1978 Saskatchewan general election, he was elected leader of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party in 1979.[1] He lost a 1980 by-election in Estevan in a three-way split in which each party received more than 27 percent of the vote.[2]

Premier of Saskatchewan, 1982 to 1991Edit

Devine won election to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in the 1982 general election that brought him and 54 other Progressive Conservatives to power—the first time that the party had won government in its own right.[3][4] Only nine members of the long-ruling New Democratic Party (NDP) were left as opposition in what is still the third-worst defeat a sitting government has ever suffered in Saskatchewan. Devine became only the second Tory to serve as premier; the first, James T.M. Anderson, formed a coalition government in 1929.

Devine's government divested several state-owned enterprises, made initial public offerings of others, and introduced reforms to labour law and welfare programs.

Devine instituted royalty holidays for new wells drilled from June 1, 1982, to the end of 1983, as well as a 30 per cent tax reduction on older wells from 1974 on, and other tax breaks were offered to the industry. This was expected to cost the province $35 million, but lost revenue would be made up via increased exploration.

Under Devine's premiership, Saskatchewan's debt grew from $3.5 billion to $12 billion.[5] Devine governed during some of the worst droughts since the "Dirty Thirties". The price of oil and agricultural commodities collapsed. In the end, the high cost of government mortgage rate reduction policies during 19 per-cent interest rates and his agricultural rescue policies resulted in a large deficit. The year Devine came to government the provincial GDP only grew 0.6 per cent, down from 20.9 per cent growth the previous year.[6] Since then Saskatchewan has had routinely less than 10 per cent growth in GDP.[citation needed]

His government was re-elected in the 1986 election, making him the first conservative premier to win reelection in the province, although his NDP opponents won a plurality of the votes.[7][8][9]

1991 Defeat and Opposition leaderEdit

Devine's government was defeated in the 1991 election after two terms in power.[10][11] The PC party was reduced to ten seats in the legislature.[12]

On October 8, 1992, Devine announced his resignation as Progressive Conservative leader, effective December 31, 1992.[13][14]

Although Devine himself was never implicated in any criminal wrongdoing, 13 out of 55 Conservative MLAs and staffers were subsequently charged with expense account fraud committed during Devine's second term (1986–1991). The scheme accounted for $837,000 of defrauded government funds.[15] Of these a handful were acquitted while some served prison time.[16][17]

Federal politicsEdit

In 2004, Devine announced his intention to return to politics and run for the federal Conservative Party of Canada,[18][19] but the party ruled he was an undesirable candidate, and denied him the right to seek a nomination.[20] Despite the ruling, Devine continued to enjoy the public support of Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay.[21] On May 7, Devine announced that he would run as an independent candidate in the 2004 federal election for the riding of Souris—Moose Mountain.[22] Consequently, Devine was expelled from the Conservative Party on June 8 by the party's executive council. Devine finished the election second to Conservative Ed Komarnicki. Devine received 8,399 votes (29.42% of the popular vote).[23]


On October 2, 2009, it was announced that Devine would be appointed to the honour of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, for his contributions to the Province of Saskatchewan.[24] He received the honour on November 17, 2009.[25]


  1. ^ "Saskatchewan Tories elect Devine". The Globe and Mail. November 12, 1979.
  2. ^ "Tory leader loses bid in by-election". The Globe and Mail. November 27, 1980.
  3. ^ "Devine's Victory Makes History". The StarPhoenix. Saskatoon. April 27, 1982. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  4. ^ "Saskatchewan Tories sweep to upset win". The Globe and Mail. April 27, 1982.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Comparisons of Gross Domestic Product - Saskatchewan and Canada (.PDF file) Archived June 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Tories re-elected in Saskatchewan but majority cut". The Globe and Mail. October 21, 1986.
  8. ^ "Saskatchewan voters return Grant Devine with majority". Toronto Star. October 21, 1986.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "NDP sweeps Saskatchewan". The Globe and Mail. October 22, 1991.
  11. ^ Nagle, Patrick (October 22, 1991). "Romanow's New Democrats steamroll to resounding win in Saskatchewan vote". The Gazette. Montreal.
  12. ^ "Heartland lost faith in Devine's promises". The Globe and Mail. October 23, 1991.
  13. ^ "Devine quits as leader of Tories in Saskatchewan". Toronto Star. October 9, 1992.
  14. ^ "Devine steps down as Tory leader". The Globe and Mail. October 9, 1992.
  15. ^
  16. ^ O'Hanlon, Martin (February 27, 1999). "Devine gov't left behind sorry political legacy". The StarPhoenix. Saskatoon. p. A.6.
  17. ^ Bergman, Brian; Kisler, Dale (November 18, 1996). "Saskatchewan Tories in Fraud Scandal: Greed is Good". Maclean's. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  18. ^ Pacholik, Barb; Wood, James (January 21, 2004). "Former Saskatchewan premier launches comeback bid". The Vancouver Sun. p. A.7.
  19. ^ "Grant Devine to seek federal seat". The Globe and Mail. January 20, 2004. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  20. ^ Gordon, Sean (February 20, 2004). "Conservatives quash Devine bid". National Post. p. A.10.
  21. ^ "Blocking Grant Devine". The Globe and Mail. February 21, 2004. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  22. ^ "Devine to run as federal Independent". CBC News. May 8, 2004. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  23. ^ "Canada Votes 2004 – Souris—Moose Mountain". CBC News. June 28, 2004. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  24. ^ "Ex-premier Devine will receive Order of Merit". CBC News. October 2, 2009. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  25. ^ "Ex-premier Devine gets province's highest honour". CBC News. November 17, 2009. Retrieved 2015-11-07.