Tributes pour in for Peter Lougheed – by Josh Wingrove, Dawn Walton and Carrie Tait (Globe and Mail – September 14, 2012)posted in Canadian/International Media Resource Articles, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image |
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EDMONTON and CALGARY - Regardless of political stripe, no matter the geographic location, tributes poured in to honour former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, who died in Calgary on Thursday, at the age of 84.
Mr. Lougheed, who had a long history with heart problems but whose family said Thursday evening he died of natural causes, was being cared for in his final days in the hospital that bears his name. “Today Canada lost a truly great man,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement, “Peter Lougheed was quite simply one of the most remarkable Canadians of his generation.”
Mr. Lougheed, who kick-started the province’s Progressive Conservative dynasty and reshaped its place in Confederation, was also a lawyer and former CFL player. He served as premier from 1971 to 1985, laying the groundwork for Alberta’s oil sands boom and famously battling Pierre Trudeau over the proposed National Energy Program.
“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,” the Prime Minister said in the statement.
He is regarded as the grandfather of Alberta’s PC party, one who stayed active in his final days and endorsed the vision of current premier Alison Redford. From a trade mission in Asia, Ms. Redford was saddened to learn of the passing of her “dear friend and mentor.”
“He was a powerful inspiration to me,” she said in a statement, “He was a role model and mentor for me both personally and professionally since I first met him many years ago.”
“Premier Lougheed was unquestionably devoted to Alberta and Alberta’s interests,” she said. “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.”
He was remembered by former cabinet colleague Don Getty, who succeeded Mr. Lougheed as premier.
“We have lost a great man, and a great Canadian and a great Albertan. And we just want a chance now for Albertans and Canadians to pay tribute to him, and we will,” Mr. Getty said Thursday night, after receiving word of Mr. Lougheed death.
“He came along at a time when Alberta needed [an] outstanding leader, and he filled that bill perfectly. He led us through the Canadian scene of all the things that were going on from provincial and federal situation, Trudeau, and the energy law. All those things,” Mr. Getty said. “And yet he was an Albertan with a wonderful family, and he carried also on his shoulders the Progressive Conservative party. He was an outstanding man.”
Liberal stalwart and Quebec MP Justin Trudeau, whose father clashed as Prime Minister with Mr. Lougheed, turned to Twitter to reflect on Canada’s loss.
“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,” he wrote.
Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman wrote: “Premier Lougheed was a gift to us! May God Bless him and his family.”
In a statement, Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith lauded Mr. Lougheed as as a man who fought the National Energy Program and created the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, the province’s rainy day fund.
“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,” she said.
Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason said in a statement that Mr. Lougheed transformed Alberta into a more “progressive province.”
“He stood up for Albertans, but remained a passionate Canadian,” he said.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Globe and Mail website: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/tributes-pour-in-for-peter-lougheed/article4544459/