Ron Stevens resigns from MLA, cabinet posts
Speculation is former lawyer may become Federal Court judge
Last Updated: Friday, May 15, 2009 | 3:55 PM MT
Alberta's deputy premier and Calgary-Glenmore MLA Ron Stevens is quitting politics to "pursue other career options."
Stevens, 59, who is also the province's minister for international and intergovernmental relations, announced his immediate resignation from the Alberta cabinet and his MLA position in a release on Friday.
"Ron has been a good friend and stalwart colleague, and I have greatly valued his sound advice and solid judgment," said Premier Ed Stelmach in the release. "I wish him well in the future, and I have no doubt he will continue to find success and fulfillment in whatever path he chooses to follow."
First elected as an MLA in 1997, Stevens has served as the minister of justice, attorney general and minister of gaming.
There has been speculation that the former lawyer will be appointed a Federal Court judge.
When CBC News reached Stevens at his Calgary home on Friday afternoon, he wouldn't reveal what career options he was considering, and declined to comment any further.
"Mr. Stevens has always been an honourable opponent, a hard-working minister who did his best to make Alberta a better place. Albertans are lucky to have had a man of his calibre working for their interests," Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann said in a statement.
Test for Alberta political parties
Stevens's departure leaves a large hole in the provincial Tory government, said political commentator Paul McLoughlin, who is also the publisher of Alberta Scan.
"There's just a can of worms created by this resignation," said McLoughlin on CBC Radio, pointing out that Stelmach will be under pressure to appoint a new deputy premier from southern Alberta.
A byelection, which must be called within six months, will be a test for all Alberta parties, he said.
"Calgary's been very difficult for the Progressive Conservatives ever since Stelmach became the leader, because Calgary's felt disenfranchised," said McLoughlin. He added that it will also be a test for Swann to see what kind of Liberal candidates he will be able to attract to the riding, and for the Wildrose Alliance to elect a candidate in an urban centre.
McLoughlin did not consider the Alberta NDP to have much of a chance of electing someone in affluent Calgary-Glenmore.
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