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RALPH THROWS A FIT 'I THREW IT AT THE PAGE AND I SAID: "I DON'T NEED THIS CRAP." AND THEN I APOLOGIZED' (The Edmonton Sun)

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The Edmonton Sun 2006.03.02 Final News 5 photo from Sun files Premier Ralph Klein threw a book at a page during question period ILLUSTRATION: in the Legislature yesterday. BYLINE: DARCY HENTON, LEGISLATURE BUREAU WORD COUNT: 327 Alberta's premier blew a gasket in the Legislature yesterday, hurling a Liberal health−care book three metres at the schoolgirl page who delivered it to him. Frustrated after two days of fending off criticism of his Third Way health reforms, Ralph Klein admitted he lost it. "I threw it at the page and I said: 'I don't need this crap'," the premier later conceded to reporters. "And then I apologized." The incident occurred midway through question period in front of a packed gallery of schoolchildren. In addition to apologizing to the page, Klein apologized to the House for calling the Liberal book "crap." The Liberals brought their health policy book into the assembly after repeated calls from Klein to come up with better ideas if they didn't like his Third Way. Asked why he tossed the 75−page soft−covered book, Klein said he didn't think there were any useful ideas in it. Liberal Leader Kevin Taft called the incident "appalling." "The premier is out of control," he said. "In my view, these people are no longer fit to govern." Liberal Rick Miller, who raised a point of order with the Speaker over the premier's behaviour, said the premier's behaviour reflects poorly upon all MLAs. "I was embarrassed," Miller said. Although the incident wasn't caught on camera, NDP Leader Brian Mason said he wished Tory delegates could see it before Klein's leadership review. "It typifies how much he has become out of control and unstable," Mason said. "It is far beyond anything that I have ever seen from a public official."

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