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The luckiest man in Canada has not gone to the washroom in four hours.

He sits, legs not even crossed, at the scoring desk of a provincial wrestling tournament, his concentration never wavering as he watches for the referee to signal points for one side or the other.

Above him hangs a white-and-gold banner listing the Swift Current Comprehensive High School 1977 provincial gold medalists in track and field: Brad Wall, 110m hurdles, Jr. Boys.

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It could be said that the newest premier in the country, still boyish-looking, is in training for today's meeting of the Council of the Federation in Victoria - and for all the provincial and federal-provincial gatherings to come.

Premier Brad Wall can sit for as long as it takes. And he has a proven ability to overcome matters that stand in the way.

The 42-year-old former businessman is coming off an even better year than he had in 1977 when he was provincial champion. In November, Wall's Saskatchewan Party tossed the long-term NDP government out of office. Long restricted to rural ridings, the party broke through into cities under the smooth, urbane Wall to gain an impressive majority.

"I think I'm the luckiest man in Canada," he says.

Immediately after his impressive victory, the Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first Grey Cup in nearly 20 years.

He inherited a province with a booming economy and, recently, Statistics Canada confirmed that Saskatchewan, which for years had been losing population, has now risen to pass the one million mark.

"That," he says, "is a significant psychological barrier."

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If Saskatchewan has a new swagger, Wall has played a major role in it.

The first day he walked into the premier's office being vacated by Lorne Calvert, he hoisted a Roughriders flag on the nearest flag pole - a pole he was later told is reserved for royal representation.

"What could be more royal than the 'Riders?" he asks.

He is doing things differently, opting to live in hometown Swift Current rather than the capital, Regina, 2½ hours east. He and wife, Tami, plan to raise their family here - daughters Megan and Faith and son Colter, who is wrestling this day in the school gym that calls itself "Home of the Colts." Staying home, he says, will "ground" him.

Wall also keeps a stuffed wolf in the premier's office, a satirical reminder of how the NDP portrayed him as "a wolf in sheep's clothing" in campaign ads and speeches.

"It will stay right there - just so we don't take ourselves too seriously."

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On the serious side, however, he does plan to remain a wolf, which will naturally have admirers admiring his stealth and detractors condemning him for howling at nothing, as Canadian premiers are so often accused of doing.

Once the premiers leave interprovincial trade this afternoon to talk about energy, Wall plans to be one of the voices heard.

He has just returned from a "comfort" mission to Calgary, where he told oil and gas executives that his government's intention is to keep the "momentum" going that has seen recent billion-dollar-plus announcements in potash development and oil refineries and will see well exploration rise significantly this year.

"Government doesn't control these things," he says, "but government can have a role in keeping that momentum going."

He also plans to take on the "questionable environmental thinking" that is known as the cap-and-trade method of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.

To Wall, a cap-and-trade policy would be merely "moving emissions around as opposed to reducing them."

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His government's own environmental policy is slowly evolving, he says, though the previous NDP policy to cut emissions by 32 per cent by 2020 still stands.

What Wall wants is recognition that Saskatchewan is a significant part of the "continental centre for energy."

It, too, has oil sands, but also natural gas, potash, coal - and uranium.

"One-third of the world supply comes from this province," he says. Yet there are no "value-added" projects tied to uranium production.

"We would like to lead," he says. "It's time for the country to have a new national vision on nuclear energy - and we want to aggressively pursue that."

He also sees the federal government playing a significant role in helping to fund new Saskatchewan energy initiatives.

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There is the potential of uranium development, Wall says, but also a very expensive "clean coal demonstration project" that Ottawa could help fund in an effort to deal with the equalization imbalance.

All this is tied back to the federal government's $800-million-a-year election promise to exclude non-renewable resources from the complicated formula that is intended to make the provinces more equal. Wall returned from his first official premier's call on Ottawa convinced that there would be no Atlantic Accord equivalent for Saskatchewan.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Wall says, is adamant that there be no side deal.

Calvert, who remains as leader of the provincial New Democrats, has told the Saskatchewan media it will prove impossible to do without a separate side deal, but Wall disagrees.

"If there is indeed a new federal-provincial dynamic," says the new Premier, "and it generates results - we don't know if it will yet - then we're going to give the Prime Minister a chance."

If this means long days at the bargaining table, he can sit as long as it takes.

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And if, in the end, he sees nothing but more federal barriers in the way, he may end up running on them, if not over them.

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