As Ed Stelmach ended his inaugural year as premier with the hint of a spring election, he flatly told his critics that they had all been wrong about him.
"We’ve done things that many in this room said, ‘You either won’t have the guts to do it or you won’t be able to bring people together,’" he said, pointing out that he overhauled the province’s energy royalty regime, solved an unfunded teacher pension liability and began a regional plan for the Edmonton area.
"Some of these issues have been around for 50 years, so I’m very confident that we’ve really moved (forward) in a pragmatic way and a rational way."
Stelmach’s early days as premier were filled with deferring decisions to committees, special investigative groups and various task forces, but he propelled his government into the fall with a steady stream of major announcements.
Political analysts have called his style of governing "wooden" while predicting he’ll never recover from an infrastructure deficit inherited from former premier Ralph Klein.
Liberal Leader Kevin Taft said he feels Albertans have grown tired of 36 years of Tory rule as a looming political movement crosses the horizon.
"We have Ed Stelmach cleaning up messes, but cleaning messes is not the same as moving forward," he said.