March 29 marks a sad anniversary in Alberta. Four years ago, Premier Ralph Klein passed away in Calgary after a long battle with a respiratory illness.
Klein was an open book.
He didn’t keep much from us.
We knew he gave hippies the middle finger, had struggles with alcohol and called eastern vagrants “creeps and bums.”
But we forgave all those rough edges because he was paying down the debt and making hard choices to cut government spending wherever he could.
Today I bring you some lesser known facts about the man we called "King Ralph."
These are things we don’t talk about anymore, or things we have forgotten with time.
Klein was from an era when politicians weren't scared to be tough, when they didn't speech-police their own voters, when they didn't cower in fear of the media and when they didn’t try to please people who will hate them anyway.
They sure don’t make them like that anymore.
Premier Klein was Alberta’s child. His story is everything I love about this place I call home where you can be anything you want if you want it enough to work for it.
Klein was a great man who made Alberta great again before it was cool.