FULL TEXT OF ALISON REDFORD'S RESIGNATION SPEECH:
Well, thank you everyone and thank you for coming today. And thank you to every Albertan who is watching at home this evening.
Two years ago, the people of this wonderful province gave me and our Progressive Conservative government a mandate for change. In fact, the last election was defined by the kind of change that people wanted.
Would we build walls around Alberta, cutting off our future prosperity? Or would we, as a province, say confidently that Alberta's best days were ahead, and that we, as the government elected by the people would build bridges to the world, guaranteeing a better future for us all?
We saw a record number of people engaged in that election and I'm thankful for the privilege of being elected on a mandate to build a better, a more modern and a prosperous Alberta.
Over the last two years we've made incredible progress in terms of creating a progressive, and I underline that word, and a conservative change.
For the first time in six years, Alberta's budget is fully balanced, we are united in eliminating our infrastructure deficit with our "Building Alberta" plan.
To keep class sizes low, planning work is well under way on all 50 new schools and 70 school modernizations across Alberta, which will see over 86,000 new and improved spaces for our kids.
To make sure that more families have access to care closer to home, when they need it, and where they need it, Fred Horne will be announcing more than 80 new family care clinics in the next two months.
This year's balanced budget includes funding for 2,000 new college and university space,s so more of our young adults have the skills and the knowledge that they need to succeed.
We've made firm funding commitments to our towns and cities, including the expansion of the LRT here in Edmonton, the twinning of Highway 63, and finally, 50 years in the making, completing the final portion of the Calgary Ring Road.
And key to being able to afford all of this has been opening new markets for Alberta's resources. I will never apologize for aggressively selling Alberta to the world, going wherever we needed to to find new customers and get fairer prices for our products.
We fought to protect Alberta's royalties from other provinces, and I was proud to unite the provinces in creating the Canadian Energy Strategy. I trust that this government will continue to fight for Albertans on the world stage, and for a shared, better future in the years ahead.
We've held the line on government spending and I'm so proud of results-based budgeting which has led to savings and efficiencies of outcomes right across the board.
We've had incredible public servants who are implementing this change and I thank you for that. To our teachers, our social workers, doctors, nurses and health professionals, thank you for the work that you do every day in serving families and making our lives better.
To small busineses, workers, moms, dads, thank you for driving Alberta's economic and social future, because together, we are building a strong Alberta and it's working.
This year we'll lead Canad and job and wage growth, while paying the lowest taxes. And our budget ensures that when it comes to the programs and services that Albertans need, particularly vulnerable Albertans, that record funding is there.
There is no doubt that there is much more to do. Our Throne Speech and budget lay out how this government will continue to meet our commitments to Albertans and to build for the future. And that vision of building an even stronger, safer, healthier, more innovative and prosperous Alberta is one that I'm very proud of.
It is grounded in our belief that Alberta is the most open, confident and most unabashedly forward-looking province in Canada, and let's never forget that, proudly asserting ourselves on the world stage.
But it's a vision and a plan that requires all of us who are privileged to sit in government to stay focused on delivering.
Quite frankly, too much time has been spent over the last few weeks on questions of loyalty and allegiances and character. Too many people have been distracted from the important work that the people of Alberta sent us here to do.
And as leader of this govnermetn and this party, that has weighed heavily on my mind.
I love Alberta. I am honoured to represent Alberta as your premier and I've given my heart and my soul to this province every single minute of the day for the last two and a half years.
Quite simply, quite simply, I am not prepared to allow party and caucus infighting to get in the way of building a better future for our province and for Albertans. And that is why I am announcing today, that with a profound optimism for Alberta's future, I am resigning as premier of Alberta, effective this Sunday evening.
I want to thank my wonderful constitutents (yelling in the background, applause)
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Before you leave, before you leave, I want to take this opportunity to thank the constituents of Calgary-Elbow who elected me in 2008. To my volunteers who have been part of this incredible journey, your support, your warmth and your passion for Alberta has been one of the things that has inspired me from day one.
Most importantly, to the people of Alberta, thank you for giving me the incredible opportunity to serve in the greatest job in this province.
On election night two years ago, I pledged that we would govern with unity and with prosperity. Well, at least we got the prosperity part right.
The PC Caucus and party will have a decision to make in the weeks ahead, I'm looking forward to spending time with Gwen and Sarah, I wish them every success.
My family is the most important thing in the world to me, they have been a rock through all of this, and no words can thank them for what they mean to me.
Thank you, good night.
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