On behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, I want to express our deepest sympathies to the family (wife Jeanne and children Stephen, Andrea, Pamela and Joseph) of former Premier Lougheed who passed away Thursday evening.
Peter Lougheed was a very effective and visionary Premier of Alberta, but for so many who were not Albertan, he was our leader too.
This was especially true for western Canadians, and for the people of Saskatchewan who understood with a prairie intuition that when Premier Lougheed was deftly carving out greater provincial determination over resources and a bright economic future for Alberta, he was also working on our behalf; he was also our voice.
He was easy to follow, easy to admire, for he always managed to make Alberta's case and to further her interests in the context of a strong and united Canada, the country he so loved.
On a personal note, I have lost a mentor with his passing. Premier Lougheed was always willing to meet with me in his office in Calgary in my days in Opposition; patiently answering questions and offering counsel. When we formed government, I called him to ask if he would come and meet with our government and Enterprise Saskatchewan for a day of planning, just as we were working on our growth agenda.
He said he would but wondered if we could afford his consultation fee. I asked him what the fee was. He said a steak sandwich. His subsequent visit and the resulting discussions through the years have turned out to be the most important steak sandwich ever bought in our province.
Growing up, he was a political hero of mine. I was so very fortunate to get to know him as an adult, to call him a mentor. Saskatchewan is very fortunate to have had benefit of his wisdom, his passion for Canada and the generous manner in which he shared both.
Premier Lougheed was one of this country's finest leaders, a gentleman, a learned man of vision possessing equal parts wit and warmth.
He was a friend to Saskatchewan and by far our favourite Edmonton Eskimo.
All our best to family, friends and all who mourn Canada's Premier.