CALGARY — A high-ranking source says Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach will announce Tuesday he will resign as premier after the legislature session and won't run in the next election.
Stelmach has called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon, and a source said he'll announce the decision then.
"This will change the landscape of Alberta politics," he said
Maybe he's joining the Alberta Party too...
UPDATE: Ed's resignation speech. Feel free to add the awkward pauses and stamering as you see fit:
My decision today....
• Since the New Year I have been spending the last few weeks asking my Caucus to indicate to me their intentions for the next provincial election.
• I am impressed by the passion of my caucus colleagues and their desire to serve Albertans.
• They firmly believe in the mandate that Albertans gave us in the last election- the largest majority for a new Premier in Alberta's history.
• Our members are also equally committed to continuing in their role as members of the PC Caucus and fight in the next election.
• I have been asking these good men and women to make a minimum commitment of five years. It is a commitment to serve Albertans and those in public office know that this service comes with a personal sacrifice.
• As I have been having these discussions I have also been reflecting on my own commitment to serve beyond the next election.
• Upon much reflection and consultation with family and close friends, I have determined that after 25 years of public service I am not be prepared to serve another full term as Premier.
• Therefore I have decided to announce today I will not be running as a candidate in the next general election.
• There is no doubt that my decision today will come as a shock to many and a disappointment to my friends and Albertans.
• I am grateful to all those who supported me – who gave me the opportunity to raise integrity and honesty into government for the benefit of all Albertans.
• At a further date, I will provide written notice to the President of the PC Party, my intention to resign as leader.
• In due course, a full, fair and transparent leadership race will be held to select my successor.
• Until I provide the formal notice of intent to resign, I will continue to govern to fulfill commitments I made in the last general election.
• And to advance the interests of Alberta to the best of my ability and will put my full effort into this work – as I always have.
• And to this end, we will present a budget that shows the way to being balanced on a fully consolidated basis in 2013 – a year later than we had hoped.
• It will be a budget that will be received by most as tough yet responsible.
• But it will not be a budget that guts funding to municipalities, mothballs health projects underway or halts school, and road construction at a time when people need work and the prices for construction are good.
• The budget my government brings in will use the cash we saved during the boom to help us through the bust and position us to leap ahead of the nation and the continent.
• My successor will be under no obligation to go to the polls in March of 2012.
• That was my timetable and mine alone.
• My successor has the parliamentary authority to call an election anytime up to the constitutional deadline of March of 2013.
• No one needs to be stampeded into a decision. Lets all take the time to get this right.
• I have always put my family, my constituents, my province and my party ahead of myself.
• So I say to you this as directly as I can.
• There is a profound danger that the next election campaign will focus on personality and US style negative, attack politics that is directed at me personally.
• The danger is that it could allow for an extreme right party to disguise itself as a moderate party by focussing on personality – on me personally.
• This type of US style wedge politics is coming into Canada, and it comes at our peril.
• Albertans deserve to have better level of public debate on our policy options.
• Alberta must move forward to address the challenges of the future.
• Alberta must be a participant in the global community.
• Alberta must lead the way in responsible resource development.
• Alberta must not look backward when all the world is looking for modern leadership.
• As a grandson of immigrants who came to this country to harness a better future for their children out of a piece of prairie they could claim as their own, I believe in the good and truth of private enterprise and democracy.
• I believe deeply in democratic institutions and the parliamentary system of government that has served Canada so well.
• And I believe that the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta is the best institution we have to unite Albertans around a positive, progressive future.
• The PC Party has been a fundamental success story in Alberta politics because it is firmly rooted in our culture – a culture that is conservative, yet looks always to achieving a bold future.
• Thank you.
-Premier of Alberta
Labels: Ed Stelmach