Condolences pour in after Peter Lougheed's death
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 12:08PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 14, 2012 12:25PM EDT
Condolence letters and heartwarming tributes have been pouring in from across the country following the announcement that former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed died Thursday night.
Lougheed, who passed away at the age of 84 of natural causes, was first elected premier in 1971, ushering in more than 40 years of Progressive Conservative rule in Alberta.
In the 1980s he was credited with turning the province into an economic powerhouse.
He was remembered on Friday as a remarkable man and dignified leader.
“Today Canada lost a truly great man,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement on Thursday.
“Peter Lougheed was quite simply one of the most remarkable Canadians of his generation… A master politician, gifted lawyer, professional-calibre athlete and philanthropist, the former premier was instrumental in laying the foundation for the robust economic success that his cherished province of Alberta enjoys today.”
Lougheed will be lying in state at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Albertans and Canadians are being encouraged to share their memories of Lougheed and express their condolences at an online tribute page at www.alberta.ca.
Alberta premier, Calgary mayor remember Lougheed
During a trade mission in Asia, Alberta Premier Alison Redford called Lougheed a “powerful inspiration” to her both personally and professionally.
“Premier Lougheed was unquestionably devoted to Alberta and Alberta’s interests. He not only believed in a strong and united Canada, he believed that Alberta did not have to succeed at the expense of Canada, but as a proud member of a country working together - a country where all succeeded,” Redford said in a public statement.
“Premier Lougheed was dedicated to serving Alberta and Canada and that did not end when he left public service. He has remained an eminent and well-respected voice on matters of public policy, and I was honoured to have been the recipient of that advice over the years.”
Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi released a statement calling himself a “Lougheed baby.
“I was born the year after he was first elected, and I have never known an Alberta or a Canada that did not benefit from his legacy. We owe him so much: our strong industries; our magnetic cities; our sense of identity within Canada,” Nenshi wrote on Facebook.
“He represented the Alberta that drew so many (my parents included) to live and work and thrive here. With him, we became greater as Albertans and as Canadians. On behalf of all the people of Calgary, I express my heartfelt sorrow to Jeanne and the entire Lougheed family. He will be dearly missed by all.”
Family of Ralph Klein releases statement
Colleen Klein, the wife of former Alberta premier Ralph Klein, described the relationship he held with Lougheed, in a statement released Friday.
“While many others will speak over the coming days to Premier Lougheed’s many contributions to Canada and Alberta, I can only speak to his kindness and to the personal relationship he shared with my husband,” the statement read.
“Ralph often reflected on their relationship built during the time they worked together as Mayor of Calgary and Premier of Alberta to bring the 1988 Olympic Winter Games to Calgary and make these games a tremendous success.
Later, when Ralph became Premier, he and former Premier Lougheed spoke on many occasions about the challenges they shared, and the Alberta they both wanted for Albertans.
Ralph, like all Albertans, understood how Peter Lougheed put Alberta on the global map, so that others, like Ralph, could follow.
We are deeply saddened that he has passed away, but grateful for the doors that he opened.”
Jim Dinning, a former Alberta treasurer in Klein’s government, remembered Lougheed as a “nation-builder and a province-builder.”
Dinning told CTV’s Power Play that Lougheed turned Alberta, a once largely agrarian province, into the second-biggest oil producer in the world.
“That is a legacy that will live on an on,” he said.
Other leaders pay tribute
Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta
“Mr. Lougheed will be fondly remembered as a man who fought on behalf of all Albertans with tremendous dignity and effectiveness during the days of the National Energy Program and who developed the Heritage Savings Trust Fund for future generations to enjoy the wealth of our abundant non-renewable resource,” she said in a statement.
“On a personal level we will remember Mr. Lougheed as a man of great personal integrity, who treated others with great compassion and who had an unwavering commitment of service to the people of Alberta.
“He will be sadly missed across Alberta and I once again offer my condolences to his family, his loved ones and all Albertans impacted by the loss.”
Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason
“My thoughts are with the Lougheed family at this difficult time.
“The work that Peter Lougheed did to make Alberta better is recognized by people from across the political spectrum and across Canada. His work to ensure that Albertans get a fair deal for their resources, to create a more progressive province, to improve our education system and to encourage a fairer society is of unquestionable importance to the province that we have today.
“Peter Lougheed fought for Alberta and was a tremendous builder of our province. He stood up for Albertans, but remained a passionate Canadian.
Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair
“I learned with great sadness of the passing of former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed.
Peter Lougheed’s work and achievements for Albertans and all Canadians have left an indelible mark in our collective history and will be remembered by future generations.
On behalf of New Democrats, I offer my sincerest condolences. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, via Twitter
“It is with tremendous sadness that we bid adieu to a giant of Canadian politics. Peter Lougheed was a man of vision, integrity, and heart.”
Former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, speaking to CTV’s Power Play
“This was a man who had high principles, he was a treat to be around….a gentleman at every stage of the game. I always liked Peter Lougheed, he was an absolutely wonderful human being.”
Dr. Raj Sherman, leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, via Twitter
“Premier Lougheed was a gift to us! May God Bless him and his family.”