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klein to stay until ’07???

According to both the Edmonton Sun and Edmonton Journal, Premier Ralph Klein has reiterated that he’s sticking around for a few more years despite the fact that many of his cabinet ministers have already begun jockeying for his job.

Klein told reporters yesterday that he plans to step down in late 2007 in order to allow time for a leadership race and to give his successor ample time to prepare for the next provincial election. More here.

Norris is in.

Former Economic Development Minister Mark Norris (who looks suspiciously like this character) reacted to Klein’s announcement by gushing “I think it’s great news, I am running, there is no doubt about it.” Norris was soundly defeated in Edmonton McClung during last November’s provincial election by Liberal Mo Elsalhy. So, that makes Oberg, Dinning, Stelmach, Hancock, Morton, and Norris…

And, by the way, Bill C-38 has been approved by the Senate.

UPDATE: More Ralph retirment quotes:

AUPE President Dan McLellan: “I would be surprised if you can put the toothpaste back in the tube, the websites are up, the hospitality suites are going and supporters of the candidates will want a race.”

ND MLA Ray Martin: “It is baffling to me. He shows absolutely no interest in the job. The government is running on auto-pilot. Nobody is in charge.”

U of C Political Science Professor David Taras “I think Ralph Klein has put everybody on ice…”

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