On the last page of every issue of Industry West, we find a Saskatchewan business person or leader to answer our version of the Proust Questionnaire. Marcel Proust made the questionnaire famous, believing that 35 specific questions could reveal a person’s true nature. We grabbed this idea—you’ve probably seen it in Vanity Fair—and made our own version. The first five questions are ours, and then we ask our subject to pick five of their favourite Proust questions to answer.
Say hello to Grant Devine, farmer, teacher, agricultural economist and the 11th Premier of Saskatchewan. Here’s what he had to say.
1. Where are you from?
I was born in Regina. My parents worked there in an ammunition plant during the Second World War.
2. Where did you attend school and what did you study?
I grew up on the farm at Lake Valley, Sask. where I attended grade school and I attended high school at Brownlee. I got my BSc at the University of Sask. And my MSc and MBA at the University of Alberta and PhD at Ohio State University.
3. What is your career history?
I farmed and ranched where we raised angus cows and cutting horses. I worked for the Federal Department of Agriculture and was a professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Agricultural economics. I was Premier of Saskatchewan from 1982 to 1991. During that time, we privatized several corporations including Potash Corp. I have served on several boards including Agrium and currently sit on the board of governors with the U of S.
4. What the best piece of business or career advice you have or have been given?
You get one chance in this life, don’t waste it.
5. What your favorite thing about Saskatchewan?
The people and their unique combination of personal values. They’re compassionate and competitive.
6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Family, music, riding horseback, sports and watching my children and great grandchildren grow up.
7. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Being impatient and wanting to fix it all the time.
8. Which living person do you most admire?
My wife Chantal.
9. Which talent would you most like to have?
To be bilingual.
10. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Give her snooze!