ALBERTA

Ralph Klein Remembered: Jean Chrétien, Canadians React To Death Of Former Alberta Premier

03/30/2013 04:12 EDT | Updated 05/29/2013 05:12 EDT
CALGARY - A sampling of what people are saying about the death of Ralph Klein.

What They Are Saying About Ralph Klein

Text for mobile users below.

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"He was not a harsh, religious-right type of guy. He was a moderate in my book and very reasonable people. When we had tough problems, he would not go on his high horse just to score political points. Of course we had disagreements, it's natural, we were representing different levels of government but on a personal basis, I always enjoyed his company and I had the feeling he enjoyed mine." — Jean Chrétien, former prime minister.

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"Ralph Klein had a common touch that truly connected with everyday Albertans and he was known across Canada for his one-of-a-kind leadership." — Greg Selinger, Manitoba premier.

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"He was a very simple man, very direct, authentic, but who could baffle us because he was so transparent. If he happened to make a mistake, he would say very honestly 'I made a mistake, my government made a mistake, we apologize and let's start all over'. You don't see often that much candour. He had that candour which, in politics, is a very rare ingredient." — former Quebec premier Jean Charest.

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"Ralph could walk with kings and the common man, and everybody was important to him. Despite a differing political approach, one cannot help but admire his incomparable ability to communicate and connect with Albertans. He never took himself too seriously or lost pride in his working-class roots." — Bob Rae, federal Liberal leader and former premier of Ontario.

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"We certainly had our ideological differences but one thing I knew is that I could work with Ralph Klein and his commitment was to not only his province but to the country so it is a big loss. He was a committed Canadian and I think when the full story is written he will get much more credit for that and for me that is a very important contribution for any premier to make." — Roy Rowmanow, former Saskatchewan premier.

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"Ralph was a force of nature in his home province and left an indelible impression on Alberta politics and his country. He loved his province, and I know he will be missed," — Kathleen Wynne, Ontario premier.

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"Ralph Klein was a premier who knew how to not take himself too seriously, even while he treated the challenges his province faced with a seriousness of focus," — Darrell Dexter, Nova Scotia premier.

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"Mr. Klein's devotion to and love for Alberta are unmistakable, both in his work as premier and his longtime service to the people of his province," Kathy Dunderdale, Newfoundland and Labrador premier.

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"We lost our much-beloved 'Ralph' who served this city and our province for over 25 years. His record and his efforts have created a wonderful legacy. He touched the lives of every single Albertan." — University of Calgary chancellor Jim Dinning, who served as Klein's provincial treasurer from 1992 to 1997.

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“Mr. Ralph Klein was a great politician, a very kind person and an excellent leader. The growing Muslim community in Alberta has great respect and admiration for him. This is indeed a big loss for all Canadians." — Imam Soharwardy, the Executive Council of Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.

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"His legacy is one of fiscal conservatism at a time when Alberta's economy needed it most. He made tough, controversial decisions that have been embraced by Albertans as common sense. Ralph Klein leaves a legacy of balanced budgets, debt reduction and austerity measures." — Rona Ambrose, federal minister of public works.

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"Ralph was a true supporter of Canada’s athletes, through his enthusiastic engagement with Calgary’s bid for, and eventual hosting of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. There is no question that Canada’s success at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and its current status as a leading Winter nation, is directly attributable Calgary’s hosting of the 1988 Games, and to the state of the art facilities still in use today." — Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

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"I am saddened by the loss of Ralph Klein. May his resilience and dedication live on in our memories."— David Johnston, Governor General.

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