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Dustin Duncan will not run again, finishing 18 years as MLA

Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan will not be running for re-election in October, but will take time to be with his young family, finishing 18 years as an MLA.

WEYBURN – Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan will not be running for re-election in October, but will take time to be with his young family.

He and fellow ministers Donna Harpauer, Don McMorris and Gord Wyant announced on Tuesday afternoon they will not be running again, but will serve out their current terms.

Currently the minister responsible for Crown corporations, Duncan was first elected in a byelection in 2006, served a year and a half in opposition, then was re-elected four times in a row, in 2007, 2011, 2016 and 2020 for a total of 18 years as MLA, and 15 as a cabinet minister.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about a few times, and we made the decision over the Christmas holidays,” said Duncan. “I’ve been very fortunate to have had this for 18 years. It’s a long time in terms of the commitment of my family. Amanda has made a lot of sacrifices, and the kids are getting older.”

He said most of the things he set out to do from the start have now been accomplished. “It felt like the right time and to do something different.”

His three children are aged five, seven and 10.

Duncan recalled that early on as an MLA, then-deputy premier Ken Krawetz told him that he should write down three things he wanted to accomplish, and he noted he met all three goals.

The goals included bringing in a new hospital to Weyburn, making improvements to Highway 39, and seeing a new health care centre in Radville.

The new health care centre in Radville opened in 2015, most of the highway improvements are being completed right now, including twinning around the Corinne curve and twinning on Highway 6 just south of Regina in addition to the passing lanes that have been built, plus the new hospital for Weyburn is currently under construction.

“Those were really important, plus there were a lot of capital projects completed, including a new school in Weyburn. We did some major improvements at St. Michael School, and at the Comp, and a new building for Southeast College,” said Duncan, in addition to water treatment improvements in communities including Weyburn.

A special one for him also was helping a partnership develop between the Holy Family School Division and the Family Place for the new Early Learning Centre, which will help the Family Place to continue to offer programming for many years to come.

“The Family Place holds a special place in my heart, so helping that partnership was important for me,” he said.

Duncan noted he has had good support in the constituency office, as he has had only one full-time assistant there for his entire time as MLA, Marcie Swedburg, who “has been a great support for me.” He also had one part-time assistant a few years ago.

As for what’s next, Duncan said he doesn’t have any plans at this point for what he will do once he’s finished his term in October, but he will remain in cabinet until the spring session is done.

He’s offered his assistance to the executive of the Weyburn-Big Muddy Constituency Association, and noted they will be making the final decision for who to nominate as a candidate for the fall provincial election.

“We’re in a good position volunteer-wise, and financially we’re in pretty good shape,” he said, adding he is willing to talk to whoever wants to be a candidate to let them know what is entailed in serving as an MLA.

“I’m satisfied with the way I conducted myself, and I always wanted to keep in mind that I’m representing the constituency and not just myself, and not everyone is going to agree with my position or that of the government,” said Duncan.

“It’s been an incredible honour to serve two incredible premiers, Brad Wall and Scott Moe, and there’s a part of me that is sad to be leaving.”

In terms of longevity, on Nov. 11 he passed Tommy Douglas as the second longest term as MLA for a constituency that includes Weyburn, and as of June 23 of this year, he will surpass J. Auburn Pepper as the longest-serving MLA for a Weyburn constituency.