Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People 2010
The deposits of oil and gas, the fields of cattle and crops and the majestic timber forests are important assets, but it is the people of Alberta who are its most valuable resource
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As his government rides through an onslaught of criticism and deals with challenges like the rise of the Wildrose Alliance, Premier Ed Stelmach remains Alberta’s most steadfastly influential provincial politician. And since Stelmach leads a province that’s home to Canada’s oil sands industry, he brandishes a large amount of influence across the country from coast to coast. Stelmach has taken up the role of oil sands defender for an industry that has taken its share of public relation hits. That includes offering Hollywood director James Cameron a trip to see the bitumen projects near Fort McMurray. He even suggested a canoe trip along the Athabasca River to get a better view of the industry, after the Avatar filmmaker vocally bashed the oil sands earlier this year. Stelmach will need to be at his nimble best to steer his government around rocky shoals through the next election in 2012.