Ed Stelmach sworn in as new Alberta premier

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ed Stelmach was officially sworn in as the 13th Premier of Alberta Thursday. He was officially sworn in by Lt. Gov. Norman Kwong in a public ceremony at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton, Alberta's capital.

"Alberta is in an enviable position," Stelmach said. "We have the means to build a strong province and future."

Born and raised in Lamont County, Alberta, the 55-year-old Ukrainian farmer grew up on a farm as the youngest of five children. He raised his four children on the farm his grandfather established in Alberta. Stelmach was elected leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party on December 3, 2006.

Stelmach replaced former Alberta premier Ralph Klein, who was Alberta's premier since 1992 and former Mayor of Calgary. "I have the greatest respect for my predecessor, Ralph Klein," Stelmach said to the crowd of about 1,000 people. "For all that he has done for me as a member of his team, for the government, and for all Albertans."

"What Albertans can expect from me is to keep my word and to keep an open mind. And I promise an open, inclusive Alberta government that puts Albertans first. A government for all Albertans, both urban and rural, young and old, north and south," he said.

Due to Alberta being a major producer of oil and natural gas, it allowed Klein to get rid of the $23-billion debt.

After the microphone amplified Stelmach blowing his nose he apologized to the chuckling crowd.