Klein named to Order of Excellence

EDMONTON — Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein has been awarded the province’s highest honour for public service.

Former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein

Former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein

EDMONTON — Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein has been awarded the province’s highest honour for public service.

Klein was among eight recipients to receive the Alberta Order of Excellence in a ceremony at Government House in Edmonton.

Klein, 67, was mayor of Calgary during the 1980s before joining the provincial Progressive Conservatives and eventually serving as premier for 14 years before stepping down in 2006.

As premier, he won multiple consecutive majority governments on a platform of debt paydown and cultivated a homespun, folksy image that prompted voters to know him simply as “Ralph.”

Now retired, the former TV reporter helps teach media studies and public policy.

He declined to speak with reporters after the ceremony.