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Alberta Premier Alison Redford announces resignation
Alberta Premier Alison Redford is resigning, as of Sunday, she just tearfully announced in Edmonton.
"Too much time has been spent over the last few weeks on questions of loyalty, allegiance and character," she said. After giving an overview of her government's achievements to date, citing "progressive" conservative policies, she continued:
"I've given my heart and soul to this province every day for the last two and half years.... I am not prepared to allow party and caucus infighting to get in the way of building a better future for our province and for all Albertans. And that is why I'm announcing today, that with profound optimism for Alberta's future, I am resigning."
Redford's announcement comes after a week after a prominent Calgary MLA, Len Webber, gave press conference last week saying he was quitting the Tory caucus due to the Premier's 'bullying' behaviour.
"She's just really not a nice lady -- I can be honest with you there," he said, claiming that Redford's leadership would "kill the party".
Earlier today, Global News reported that the presidents of 25 Conservative constituency associations in Calgary would meet Wednesday night, and that Redford's leadership would be on the agenda. Her approval rating recently dropped to 18 per cent after she was criticized for lavish travel expenses, including a $45,000 trip last year for Nelson Mandela's memorial service (which she since agreed to pay back) and a $3,156 expense for flying to Vancouver as well as bringing her daughter's friends on other taxpayer-funded trips. Despite Alberta's robust energy industry, the provincial government had also been plagued by consecutive budget deficits.
Redford's resignation has many wondering what the implications will be for Alberta's oil and gas industry. Redford made five trips to Washington during her 898 days in office (the second shortest term for an Albertan Premier in history) to discuss the Keystone XL pipeline.
Redford said in her resignation speech that she would "never apologize for aggressively selling Alberta to the rest of the world," and her government also bought a $30,000 ad in the New York Times last year as part of that policy. It remains to be seen who will succeed Redford in her role.
With file from Mychaylo Prystupa