Premier to address province

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has scheduled a 20-minute television appearance for next Wednesday to lay out his plan to see the province through its economic tough times.

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has scheduled a 20-minute television appearance for next Wednesday to lay out his plan to see the province through its economic tough times.

“The premier will be giving Albertans a very good sense of the next phase in Alberta, how the current economic situation will be addressed and what steps will be taken to put the province back in a situation where it can return to growth,” said Tom Olsen, the premier’s spokesman.

Alberta has seen wild swings in its public accounts over the last year. After years of deliriously large surpluses, the province now expects a $7 billion deficit, largely caused by drops in energy prices.

“(Stelmach) recognizes the economic situation that we are in,” said Olsen. “This government has a plan to take Alberta out of this current fiscal situation that we face and return us to the path of prosperity.”

The address comes at difficult time for Stelmach.

His party recently lost a byelection in previously secure Calgary seat. As well, he has seen criticism from longtime party members and former cabinet members — almost unheard of in Alberta’s carefully disciplined Progressive Conservative party.

He also faces a mandatory leadership review vote Nov. 7.

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