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December 6, 2006
Provost Residents Back Stelmach
• Morton, Stelmach Tied in Local Ballots, Dinning 3rd
Ed Stelmach will become Alberta’s 13th premier. Local reaction in this week's Street Spokesman. ©Provost News File Photo.
He’s being called “Honest Ed” by some and folksy by others—and Ed Stelmach will soon become Alberta’s newest premier following a second round of balloting for the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party held across the province on Saturday, December 2.

The 55 year old farmer, a former intergovernmental affairs minister from the northern Alberta riding of Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville surged ahead on the second ballot count.

Locally, at the Provost poll, there were 144 ballots cast with three spoiled:
Ed Stelmach 54
Ted Morton 54
Jim Dinning 33.

Provincially on the first ballot, Stelmach was leading by 482 votes:
Ed Stelmach 51,764
Jim Dinning 51,282
Ted Morton 41,243
Total votes cast: 144,289.

Because Stelmach didn’t reach 50 percent of the vote plus one vote, a second choice came into play that had been marked on ballots by many in the polling booths.
The second vote on December 2 after Morton was dropped, turned out final tallies of:
Ed Stelmach 77,577
Jim Dinning 55,509
(Morton out)
Total votes cast: 133,086.

Stelmach was in third place going into the weekend’s final voting. The previous Saturday voting of the top three was:
Jim Dinning 29,470
Ted Morton 25,614
Ed Stelmach 14,967

This time Provost was above the provincial average in voting, assistant deputy returning officer Marvin Lawrason told The Provost News on December 4, who added he was quite happy with the voting turnout here.

On Monday morning, December 4 Stelmach held a 30 minute news conference available to the media at the Alberta Legislature media room to discuss his priorities in the coming weeks.

The News listened in via telephone conference and because of press time deadlines, here is an abbreviated report of what was said from 11 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

The following is either general comments from the premier-designate, or answers (only) stemming from questions posed by some of the media at the time in the room:

Thank you to all members of the media and to those on the bus and in other communities across Alberta.

My swearing in will be on Friday, December 15. On December 6 there will be a meeting of caucus, and I will meet with Mr. Klein beforehand.

I am in the process of speaking with all MLAs. I reached 33 last (Sunday) night and will talk to the balance today. This week is a week of input . . . I am a good listener and will be thoughtful to so many people including Albertans who have been calling literally by the hundreds.

Premier Klein put this province in an enviable financial position. He has been a good strong leader. I also pay tribute to the civil servants . . . I am very proud of the civil servants of the Province of Alberta.

We will take Alberta to the next step, onto an even larger world scale so there is a lot of work to be done by caucus and cabinet and the civil service.

Rest of story in December 6 edition of The Provost News.
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Local Producers Look Into Environmental Program Now Available
Full story in December 6 edition of The Provost News.
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Funny Moment as Man Honoured on Retirement
Full story in December 6 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask : "Are You Happy That Ed Stelmach Will Become Alberta’s New Premier?"
. . . and we heard opinions from Lea Perkins, Vern McNalley, Annette Gregory, Noel Wirachowsky, and Carolyn Skinner.
Check out the December 6 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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