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Condolences pour in following former Alberta premier Jim Prentice’s death

WATCH ABOVE: Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice was killed in a plane crash near Kelowna, B.C. Thursday night. Here's a look back at his political legacy in Alberta. This piece was put together by producer Kevin Jesus and editor Erin Callihoo.

Condolences poured in from politicians of all stripes Friday after learning of the tragic death of former Alberta premier and federal MP Jim Prentice.

Prentice, 60, was killed in a plane crash just outside Kelowna, B.C. Thursday night. He was one of four people in the plane destined for Calgary/Springbank Airport when it crashed northeast of Winfield, just north of Kelowna.

If you would like to share your message of sympathy and support with the Prentice family, the Alberta government has set up a condolence page on its website.

Books of condolence have also been placed in the rotunda at the Alberta legislature.

WATCH BELOW: Family and friends gather at the Prentice home in Calgary. Gary Bobrovitz talks to former premier Allison Redford and former political colleagues.

Friends and colleagues mourn Jim Prentice
Friends and colleagues mourn Jim Prentice

READ MORE: Former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice killed in BC plane crash

Prentice’s family released a statement Friday afternoon, saying they were shocked to learn of his death and they are thinking of those who also lost a family member in the crash.

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“Another member of our family was also on the plane, Ken Gellatly, the father-in-law of one of our daughters, also a very special man,” the statement read. “To lose two family members at once is unbelievably painful.

“In the time Jim has been with us, he was a friend to many. Jim was a loving and compassionate man who dedicated his life to his family and public service. He will be so greatly missed.”

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READ MORE: Calgary optometrist, father-in-law of Jim Prentice’s daughter also killed in BC plane crash 

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she has spoken with Prentice’s wife, Karen, and expressed her sorrow and sympathy.

“There are no words adequate for moments like this, as my family knows very well,” Notley said in a statement. Notley’s father, Grant Notley, was killed in a plane crash on his way home from Edmonton on a snowy night in October 1984.

“But there are words to remember premier Prentice’s contributions to Alberta. He served our province in so many roles for so many years. He deeply loved Alberta. He worked tirelessly for all of us, in the true spirit of one who is committed to public service. I benefited from his advice, and the government of Alberta is continuing to pursue many of his initiatives. All Albertans are the better for this.”

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WATCH BELOW: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley sends condolences following death of Jim Prentice

‘He deeply loved Alberta’: Premier Rachel Notley gives condolences following death of Jim Prentice
‘He deeply loved Alberta’: Premier Rachel Notley gives condolences following death of Jim Prentice

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his shock and sadness over Prentice’s death and said he greatly enjoyed his interactions with him.

“Jim was a man who brought his deep convictions to everything he turned his hand to, whether it was law, business or politics,” Trudeau said Friday afternoon.

“At each step of his career, Jim was a strong voice for the people of Alberta and for the people of Canada. He was highly-respected and well-liked in the House of Commons across all party lines because he brought an intelligent, honest and straightforward approach to everything he did.”

WATCH BELOW: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Jim Prentice’s death

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Jim Prentice’s death
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Jim Prentice’s death

Interim leader of the Alberta PC Party Ric McIver said he was heartbroken to hear of the tragic death of Prentice.

“Jim was a friend and mentor to us all and his dedication to public service was an inspiration to everyone who had the honour of working with him,” McIver said in a statement.

“Beyond this dedication and commitment to public service, Jim was a kind and generous man who always put his family first. Our deepest sympathies are with his wife, Karen, their daughters and the entire Prentice family.”

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Edmonton MP and federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi issued a statement on Prentice’s passing Friday evening.

“It is with a heavy heart that I learned today of the passing of Jim Prentice,” the statement read in part. “He was a great Canadian and Albertan devoted to public service, gone far too soon.”

Former Alberta premier Alison Redford, who preceded Prentice, said she learned of his death from a colleague Friday morning. Redford said Prentice was the same man personally and publicly.

“He was smart and compassionate and respected people and was someone that will be missed,” she said.

“I think he was a very decent person and I don’t mean that to sound flip. I think that’s a really important thing today and I think he was a man that lived his values in every aspect of his life.”

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WATCH BELOW: ‘Prentice was a wonderful man’: Alison Redford on the death of Jim Prentice

‘Prentice was a wonderful man’: Alison Redford on the death of Jim Prentice
‘Prentice was a wonderful man’: Alison Redford on the death of Jim Prentice

Rona Ambrose, interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, said Prentice’s death is a huge loss for Canada.

“Our heart goes out to Karen, the girls and his two beautiful grandchildren. All of us in the Conservative family are devastated today,” Ambrose said in a statement.

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“Jim was a leader in our movement, a valued colleague in Cabinet, and a close and cherished friend of so many, not just in our party, but right across the political spectrum.”

WATCH BELOW: Fighting back tears, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose remembers her ‘good friend Jim’

Fighting back tears, Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose remembers her ‘good friend Jim’
Fighting back tears, Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose remembers her ‘good friend Jim’

Former Deputy Premier of Alberta MLA Thomas Lukaszuk, who ran against Prentice in the 2014 PC leadership race, said his memories of Prentice will be of a person who devoted most of his adult life to public life.

“No matter what the politics may be, today all Albertans and Canadians are united and grieving this sudden, unexpected loss,” Lukaszuk said.

WATCH BELOW: Former Alberta politician Thomas Lukaszuk reflects on Prentice’s death

Thomas Lukaszuk on political legacy of Jim Prentice
Thomas Lukaszuk on political legacy of Jim Prentice

The family of former PC MLA Manmeet Bhullar, who died helping in November 2015 after stopping to help a motorist along the QEII, said Prentice was someone they admired and respected.

“In our darkest days, Jim & Karen were by our family’s side with love and comfort. Today our hearts are shattered once again. Our love is with the Prentice family,” the statement read.

“Jim was a mentor, a loyal supporter and a champion of Manmeet’s. We hope somewhere today two dear friends are reunited.”

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READ MORE: Alberta PC MLA Manmeet Bhullar killed in highway crash

Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel, who was appointed health minister under Prentice’s government, is remembering the former premier as a special man.

“At one point in time I had thought about running about leader of the PC party as well and Jim called me up … and he drove up to Edmonton and came to our house and we sat and talked for a couple of hours,” Mandel recalled.

“We talked about his passion for people, about what he needed to do in the province and I said to myself, ‘this is the guy we need in this province. He’s the guy that can help us go to the next level in Alberta.”

WATCH BELOW: ‘A heck of a good guy’: Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel following Jim Prentice’s death 

‘A heck of a good guy’: Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel following Jim Prentice’s death
‘A heck of a good guy’: Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel following Jim Prentice’s death

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said he was shocked and saddened to hear of Prentice’s death. Nenshi said Prentice came to see him when he became mayor and helped him navigate the first few weeks in his new role.

“Even after he left federal politics, he was an important part of this city and always ready to help however he could,” Nenshi said.

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“I remember getting a call while I was at a function at Heritage Park. I snuck into an employees-only hallway to have a long chat with this man I had long admired. He told me he was thinking of running for leader of the PC party and for Premier. I think I asked him: ‘why in the world would you want to do that? You’ve got a great career and a wonderful family, and you’ve given so much to the community already.’ He replied in a way that clearly and plainly spoke of his love for this province and his hopes for the future. [He said], ‘In politics, I get to work with people from all political stripes who are filled with a desire to do good no matter what. I also get to work with people who are thoughtful, respectful, and driven by a need improve this community we all share,'” Nenshi wrote in a statement Friday.

“Jim was all of these things, and so much more. He is an inspiration to all of us who aspire to public service.”

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WATCH BELOW: “I’ve admired him for a long time,” Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi on the passing of Jim Prentice

‘I’ve admired him for a long time’: Mayor Nenshi on the passing of Jim Prentice
‘I’ve admired him for a long time’: Mayor Nenshi on the passing of Jim Prentice

Edmonton mayor Don Iveson said his thoughts are with the family and friends of Prentice, and the other three victims of the crash.

“Jim was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to build a better country and province. He was a consummate professional and someone who loved Alberta and believed deeply in its potential. His reasoned, pragmatic voice in Canadian politics will be sorely missed,” Iveson said in a statement.

“I join all Canadians in sending our deepest condolences to Karen and the rest of the Prentice family”.

WATCH BELOW: ‘It’s a very hard day’: Danielle Smith talks passing of friend and colleague Jim Prentice

‘It’s a very hard day’: Danielle Smith talks passing of friend, colleague Jim Prentice
‘It’s a very hard day’: Danielle Smith talks passing of friend, colleague Jim Prentice

Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen, who is running to lead the Alberta PCs, said she was very saddened by Prentice’s death and will take time to reflect on his family and their enormous loss.

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“I will also reflect on Jim’s legacy,” Jansen said in a statement. “This isn’t just a loss for Calgary, Alberta or Canada. The world has lost an influencer. Jim was a person who created impact and meaning.”

“Finally, there is a lesson from Jim Prentice; a lesson of public service. Jim stood up and led when leadership was required. In a world where criticism comes easy and solutions are hard, Jim was always working on solutions.”

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Former PC and Wildrose MLA Heather Forsyth told News Talk 770 that Albertans were lucky to have Prentice on the federal level for the work he did with First Nations. She said for those who knew him, he was more than just a politician.

“There was a part that people didn’t see of Jim. They saw him from a political perspective but never saw the Jim that his family and friends saw,” she said, holding back tears.

“We had a friendship based on a divide of politics and then just friends. I saw him two weeks ago at a party.”

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READ MORE: Jim Prentice’s political legacy

Jason Kenney, a former federal MP who is currently in the running to be the next Alberta PC leader, said he was devastated to learn of Prentice’s tragic and untimely death.

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“Jim was a deeply patriotic Canadian, proud Albertan, and devoted father and husband,” Kenney said in a statement Friday. “He possessed a profound sense of public service, which he demonstrated in his decade as a Member of Parliament, years as a federal minister, and as premier.

“Everyone who knew Jim regarded him as a man of the highest personal integrity and decency.”

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WATCH BELOW: ‘It’s a terrible loss for Canada’: B.C. Premier Christy Clark on death of Jim Prentice

‘It’s a terrible loss for Canada’: B.C. Premier Christy Clark on death of Jim Prentice
‘It’s a terrible loss for Canada’: B.C. Premier Christy Clark on death of Jim Prentice

Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher also issued a statement regarding Prentice’s death.

“Jim was a friend to our people and he approached our relationship with honesty, integrity and a genuine desire to understand our issues and
concerns,” the statement read in part. “He dedicated much of his professional life as a lawyer and a politician to improving the relations between Canada and First Nations. For
that, he will always be remembered and respected.”

Political strategist Stephen Carter worked with Prentice in the past and told News Talk 770 Prentice always stepped up when he was needed.

“He was just such a gracious man and he was never worried about the media, never worried about what people would say about him because he always knew that he was behaving at the highest possible standards because he started with his family as the centre point,” Carter said.

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“His legacy should serve for all of those who are achieving so much in Alberta because it’s very easy to sit back and complain. But Jim Prentice never sat back and complained, he stepped up and did.”

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WATCH BELOW: Global’s Tom Vernon reflects on the political life and career of former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, confirmed to have been killed in a plane crash in BC Thursday night.

Reflecting on the life and career of Jim Prentice
Reflecting on the life and career of Jim Prentice

Emma May, Prentice’s former senior advisor, said his legacy is one of ultimate public service.

“He stepped in when he thought something [was] needed and he worked incredibly hard for the people of Canada and the people of this province and for his family. In my mind, his legacy is one of devotion to the province.”

Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown expressed his condolences on behalf of all Ontarians. Brown said his friend Prentice was a good man, an accomplished public servant and a “Monday night hockey warrior” during their days in Ottawa.

“This is a devastating day for both Alberta and Canada,” Brown said in a statement.

“Jim was a proud Albertan and Canadian. He cared deeply about the public good and served our country passionately. His contributions to public life will not be forgotten.”

Watch below: Condolences are pouring in for former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, who was among four people killed in a plane crash in B.C. Thursday. Prentice was not only Alberta’s 16th premier, but also served as a federal cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government. As Tom Vernon reports, the loss of Prentice is being mourned by people across the political spectrum.

Jim Prentice remembered and respected by people across political lines
Jim Prentice remembered and respected by people across political lines

The Alberta Party issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

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“Jim Prentice made important contributions to public and private life in Canada. His work with both the federal government and Alberta provincial government had a significant impact. He will be fondly remembered for his service to the people of Alberta and Canada and his active volunteering on many different community boards and organizations. We join others across the country in expressing our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones at this sad time.”

The Calgary Police Service also extended its condolences to Prentice’s family. Prentice once served as the Calgary Police Foundation’s fundraising committee chair and was on the board of directors.

“Like the members of this service, Mr. Prentice was a proud public servant whose contributions to this city, province and country are immense,” read a statement from the CPS.

“He played a critical role in helping to bring to fruition YouthLink Calgary in 2015. His legacy will endure in the thousands and thousands of Calgary children who have passed through the doors of YouthLink, and then left empowered with the knowledge to make smart decisions.”

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, who served with Prentice in the House of Commons, said the government is cooperating with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to determine the cause of the crash. Garneau has appointed a department official has been appointed to keep the government informed on the TSB investigation.

“I extend my heartfelt thoughts and support to all the victims of this accident,” Garneau said in a statement. “I had the honour of serving with the Honourable Jim Prentice in the House of Commons for over two years and I had the utmost respect for him and his service to Canadians. He will be greatly missed.”

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WATCH BELOW: Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale calls Prentice honest and honourable following his tragic death

Goodale calls Jim Prentice ‘honest’, honourable’ following tragic death
Goodale calls Jim Prentice ‘honest’, honourable’ following tragic death

Watch below: The Calgary Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers for their home opener at the Scotiabank Saddledome Friday night for the latest edition of the Battle of Alberta. But before the puck was dropped, the team paid a special tribute to Calgarian, former Alberta premier and former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice. Prentice was killed in a plane crash tragedy that unfolded near Kelowna, B.C. on Thursday night. CREDIT: Rogers/Sportsnet/SN360/NHL

Jim Prentice honoured at Calgary Flames’ home opener
Jim Prentice honoured at Calgary Flames’ home opener

 

 

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WATCH BELOW: Conservative MP Erin O’Toole called the death of Jim Prentice “tragic,” and reflected on the career of the former Alberta premier

Erin O’Toole remembers ‘remarkable’ career of Jim Prentice
Erin O’Toole remembers ‘remarkable’ career of Jim Prentice

Prentice won a landslide victory in the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race in September 2014 and replaced disgraced premier Alison Redford.

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He led the province until May 2015 when the Alberta NDP crushed the PCs in the provincial election. While Prentice retained his seat in Calgary Foothills, he resigned as PC leader and the party’s defeat.

WATCH BELOW: Prentice congratulates Notley and the NDP and steps down as PC leader (from May 2015)

Prentice was Alberta’s 16th premier.

 

With files from News Talk 770.