End of an Era: ex-Premier Peter Lougheed Dies

Peter Lougheed (1928-2012) died on September 13th. After decades of service to the public, heart problems and, coupled with pneumonia, he died at the Peter Lougheed hospital. His family has reported to the Calgary Sun that they’re being overwhelmed by well-wishers and those sorry for their loss.

And it is a very large loss, both for his family and the people of Alberta.

What Peter Lougheed was, though his political career, was a politician that spent his efforts on being there for people. He spent his Friday mornings calling Albertans, from the highest industry-men to the average joe on the street, listening to them, their issues, and creating a space that brought their interests into government after a three decades of Social Credit dominance. He brought in close door meetings with people around the province to bring them into a listening government that eschewed partisan bias and thuggish politics. It was about doing the right thing.

His legacy is still with us today. He brought in reforms into the legislature that brought the public interest into public affairs: such as recording the daily activities of government and sharing that with Albertans. He brought in a wave of a urban and then modern perspective on politics, splitting again from the Social Credit party that often was dominated by rural Alberta. He focused on the sustainability of Alberta in the long term by establishing the Heritage Fund. A focus that has been dropped since Getty, Klein, Stelmach, and now Redford, as the fund’s real value (after inflation) has barely moved since his initial investments in that fund.

Mr. Lougheed’s legacy has been far reaching. He established a party dynasty that is on the road to being the longest lasting rule in Canada — likely to be eclipsing the Nova Scotia Liberals with a smashing 46 years. To put that in perspective that is only a shy bit shorter than Castro and puts the Alberta Tories on the pedestal as the longest lasting democratic dynasty in North America.

Even though part of his legacy has become myth as a public servant he has remained grounded and connected to the people around him. He has built a legacy to last and has earned the respect of Albertans everywhere.

Mr. Lougheed is survived by his wife, Jeanne, four children, and seven grandchildren.

Peter Lougheed Reflects On His Political Career with Allen Gregg


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