Stelmach defies critics, says spring sitting went ‘very well’

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is defying critics by saying the spring sitting of the legislature went “very well” and he’s proud of what his government accomplished.

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is defying critics by saying the spring sitting of the legislature went “very well” and he’s proud of what his government accomplished.

Political analysts say this was a dismal session for the Tories as they lurched from one controversy to another, starting with a record $5 billion deficit.

Stelmach bristled at a question on how the government intends to trim $2 billion from the budget by next year.

The premier asked mockingly how many thousands of people the media thought should be laid off to balance the budget and he pointed specifically at nurses and teachers.

Stelmach’s government drew the wrath of school boards and teachers by passing legislation giving parents human rights protection to pull their kids from any classes dealing with sex or religion.

British tabloids also pounced on Stelmach’s Tories when a photo used to help Alberta rebuild its global image turned out to be a beach in northern England.