Premier Ed Stemach visits Athabasca region

Premier Ed Stelmach visited our region on March 4th. Speaking to a crowd of more than 600 at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex. The Alberta Energy Corridor was there! Read more…

Photo Courtesy Athabasca Advocate
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach gets warm reception at Premier’s Dinner
Mar 08, 2011 06:00 am | By Derek Clouthier | The Athabasca Advocate
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach entered the Rotary Fieldhouse at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex to the hum of a bagpiper and thunderous applause last Friday evening.

Six hundred and fifty people attended the Premier’s dinner, the culmination of a visit to Athabasca that began seven hours prior.

Athabasca-Redwater MLA Jeff Johnson, who introduced the premier, addressed his constituency.

“Certainly the last few years have been very interesting. It’s been a time filled with significant global challenges and opportunities,” Johnson said. “And I don’t know if there’s anywhere in the country or in the world where this is more true than in Alberta, and certainly in northern Alberta.”

Stelmach’s address touched upon a myriad of topics, both personal and political, carrying a flare that Stelmach admitted only an outgoing politician could bear.

The speech began with the premier thanking all those involved, quickly moving on to a humorous story of his Ukrainian heritage, and then into a recount of his and his wife’s various visits around town throughout the afternoon.

Politically, the premier did not hold back. He spoke to the recent Alberta budget, the importance of infrastructure, oil and gas, and passionately about the recent land use bylaw controversy.

“There’s this group in Alberta that is saying that we are, as a government, taking away landowner rights … and it does tick me off,” Stelmach said. “To me, when people know the difference and still intend on delivering that message to Albertans, it’s totally immoral.”

For more on Stelmach’s visit to Athabasca, please see next week’s Town and Country.