Alberta’s Deputy Premier and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Ron Stevens resigned from Cabinet and the Legislature this afternoon.
First elected in 1997, Stevens replaced Dianne Mirosh as the MLA for Calgary-Glenmore. Stevens served in the cabinets of both Premiers Ralph Klein and Ed Stelmach. Since Stelmach became Premier in 2006, Stevens has served as the PCs designated heavy hitter in Calgary. Taxpayer’s Federation Director Scott Hennig reports that Stevens is eligible to collect an estimated $451,000 in transition allowance.
Stevens’ departure leaves a big hole to be filled in the PC cabinet as Calgary’s senior Cabinet Minister position now falls to Health Minister Ron Liepert. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see Parliamentary Assistant and Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber invited to join Cabinet, it may take Stelmach some time to find a Calgary Lieutenant as well-connected to Calgary’s corporate elites as Stevens. A former PC insider has informed me that Treasury Board President Lloyd Snelgrove will take over Stevens now former role as acting-Premier in Stelmach’s absence.
A by-election has yet to be called in Calgary-Glenmore, but I’ve already heard rumours that Alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart may seek the PC nomination. This by-election could also serve as a springboard for Danielle Smith’s potential campaign for the Wild Rose Alliance leadership.
In 2008, five Liberal MLAs were elected in Calgary, including their new leader, David Swann. Will their March 2008 electoral gains help the Liberals attract a viable local candidate? In 1963, Bill Dickie was elected as the Liberal MLA for Calgary-Glenmore and was re-elected as a Liberal in 1967 before joining Peter Lougheed‘s PCs in 1969 (the Liberals would not elect another MLA in Calgary until Sheldon Chumir was elected in Calgary-Buffalo in 1986).
Calgary-Glenmore Past-Election Results
Ron Stevens, PC 6,263 (50%)
Avalon Roberts, Lib 4,364 (35%)
Ernest McCutchon, AA 571 (5%)
Holly Heffernan, NDP 553 (4%)
Evan Sklarski, Grn 532 (4%)
Larry Heather, SC 127 (1%)
Ron Stevens, PC 9,678 (68%)
Michael Broadhurst, Lib 3,708 (26%)
James Kohut, Grn 467 (3%)
Jennifer Stewart, NDP 441 (3%)
Ron Stevens, PC 8,247 (58%)
Wayne Stewart, Lib 4,919 (35%)
Vernan Cook, SC 583 (4%)
Grace Johner, NDP 435 (3%)