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Published: Saturday 03 August, 2013

longchamp uk sale longchamp uk sale Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein dead at 70

CALGARY, Alberta Reuters Ralph Klein, the roughedged King Ralph who ruled Canadas energyproducing province of Alberta from 1992 to 2006 with conservative policies that included deep public spending cuts and debt reduction, died on Friday, his family said.

File photo of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein attending a function at Heritage Park in Calgary, September 20, 2006. REUTERS/Patrick Price

Klein, a onetime television reporter who was also mayor of Calgary, had been suffering from dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and had been out of the public spotlight that he basked in for much of his adult life.

In his public life, while many will now debate what he stood for, he himself simply believed that public service was important, that it need not be complicated, and that it revolved around people, Kleins wife, Colleen, said in a statement.

Klein was one of Canadas most successful politicians, presiding over four consecutive majority governments and attracting voters with an everyman persona, tightfisted fiscal policy and a propensity to fire sharptongued and sometimes offcolour zingers at his critics.

One of Kleins proudest accomplishments as leader of Albertas ruling Progressive Conservative party was eliminating the Western provinces public debt in 2004 after deep and often controversial cuts to healthcare, education, the civil service and spending on infrastructure.

The cuts, and steadily rising prices for Albertas surging oil and gas production, generated a string of budget surpluses that climbed into the billions of dollars. supply.

Klein often grabbed national notoriety, not just for the common touch that won him popul longchamp uk sale arity with Alberta voters even as he slashed public services, but also for frequent jibes at opponents.

Some of his more memorable moments on the public stage included blaming creeps and bums from Eastern Canada for straining Calgarys public services in the boom years of the early 1980s, flipping off an environmental protester in front of TV cameras when he was Albertas environment minister and throwing cash at a homeless man at a shelter while premier.

After the latter incident he admitted to having a drinking problem, although he would never vow to give up alcohol.

In 1980, he ran for mayor of Calgary, helped in his campaign by a political science student and restaurant waiter named Rod Love, who would be his strategist and chief of staff for two decades. Love came to be known as Ralphs Brain.

The political rookie won the race and was mayor for nearly a decade, a period that brought the western oil city to world prominence as host of the successful 1988 Winter Olympics.

Klein made the jump to provincial politics in 1989, running for the Conservatives, and became the partys third consecutive premier in 1992, tapping into voters love of common touch. First elected in 1971, the party remains in power under Premier Alison Redford.

Klein took stands against the thenruling federal Liberal party and its support of the Kyoto Accord on greenhouse gases, arguing its adoption would hurt the oil industry and Alberta.

An initiative he championed but never brought to fruition was more privatization of Albertas healthcare system, which like the rest of Canadas is publicly funded. His efforts to bring in legislation that would allow more forprofit care was met by angry protests outside the provincial legislature in Edmonton.

In the 2004 el longchamp uk sale ection, his Conservatives won another majority but a reduced one, and the party pulled its support for longchamp uk sale him during a subsequent leadership convention. He resigned in 2006. longchamp uk sale