It’s official, Ralph Klein’s resignation as leader of the Progressive Conservative party of Alberta was accepted today. Once a new leader is elected, Klein will resign as premier too.
Klein has been arguably the biggest problem with Alberta’s PR for nigh-on a decade now. I’ll bet there’s some clinking of glasses happening over on Sussex Drive right now too.
Read his complete resignation statement after the jump.
September 20, 2006
Ralph Klein Statement
On Saturday September 16, I submitted a letter of resignation to the President of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta. My resignation as leader of the Party will take effect on the day on which the new Premier is sworn in.
Now that I have submitted my letter of resignation to President Doug Graham, the PC Party will undertake its obligations to elect a new leader as outlined in the Party Constitution. I expect that you will be hearing from President Graham about that process very shortly.
As I prepared my letter of resignation, I looked back on the years I served in the Alberta Legislature, the last 13 of which I had the privilege of serving as the Premier of Alberta and leader of the PC Party.
Together, we accomplished a great deal but as everyone knows it wasn’t easy. The early days of deficit elimination and debt retirement were difficult for every Albertan. As we predicted, however, the protests ended as our government got on a sound financial footing. The day that I stood on the steps of McDougall Centre, July 12, 2004 and announced the end of our debt — 14 years ahead of schedule — was a proud day for all Albertans. I will never forget it.
Another highlight is the national recognition we have received for our excellent health care and education systems, for which we consistently get the highest ratings in term of service to people and outcomes.
Today we live in a different environment. Our thriving economy is exerting pressures resulting from this growth. Through wise investment we have responded by helping our towns and cities and we continue to maintain and expand our provincial infrastructure of roads, health care and education.
When I pass the torch on to the new Premier later this year, I am proud to say he or she will be leading a healthy province with countless opportunities for all Albertans.
I didn’t do it by myself. I owe a great deal of thanks to all those who were part of Ralph’s Team — both elected and non-elected. The MLAs and party members took the same heat that I did and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for staying the course.
Most importantly, however are the severely normal Albertans who supported me and helped guide our province through the past 13 years, during my watch as Premier. I tried to avoid “Dome Disease” so that I could listen and hear the advice of people on the street, at their jobs and on their doorsteps. Severely normal Albertans are the people who really made the difference.
Finally, I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Colleen. She has not only stayed by my side through thick and thin — she has contributed by donating thousands of hours of her time to charities and community events that benefit the children of this province. We both intend to stay involved and active and will continue to build the Alberta we love.