Legislature session ends

The fall sitting of the Alberta legislature has ended after weeks of acrimonious debate on swine flu, power lines and Premier Ed Stelmach’s leadership. The premier concedes it was a raucous fall sitting.

EDMONTON — The fall sitting of the Alberta legislature has ended after weeks of acrimonious debate on swine flu, power lines and Premier Ed Stelmach’s leadership.

The premier concedes it was a raucous fall sitting.

“I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it all, but when the going gets tough sometimes you’ve got to dig a little deeper,” the premier told reporters Thursday.

“Obviously I never had any idea that the world would be in such a huge recession and how Alberta would be impacted.”

Stelmach’s Conservative government faced daily questions about why Alberta’s H1N1 death rate is the highest in the country.

The opposition parties repeatedly called for Health Minister Ron Liepert to resign for what they saw as a botched vaccination program that began with all Albertans being invited to get shots.

But when the clinics in Edmonton and Calgary quickly ran out of vaccine, the province was forced to revise its strategy and limit the shots to Albertans at high risk of developing complications from the disease.

The Tory government’s popularity among voters also appeared to take a hit this fall, with three polls suggesting the Conservatives were losing support to the upstart Wildrose Alliance, led by former journalist Danielle Smith.