Remembering Peter Lougheed: your thoughts on a political giant.
The former premier of Alberta has died. In his day, he presided over the transformation of the province he loved and left his mark on Canadian politics to this day.
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Today our program has a very straightforward objective: to open the lines and let Canadians have their say, and their goodbye, to one of the most remarkable people we have seen in modern public life.
Peter Lougheed, who passed away on Friday night, was an original figure in politics .. a man who left more than a mark on his region and his country. He was a player in many of its modern dramas, not the least of which was working a fundamental accomodation between the West and Ottawa. He was the figure who most pressed for an acknowledgement of a vibrant West in the modern age... as he was for very many the face of the West he championed.
He was also a man who brought to politics so many other qualities - that of restraint, thoughtfulness, an absence of the petty strokes and mischiefs that seem to make up all of politics today: He was mature, went to the heart of large issues ...a nd as many have remarked, combined the love of his home province with a passion for the greater country.
We often bewail how childish or small politics and politicians can be: well, Mr. Lougheed gave us a glimpse of another proposition: how fulfilling and dignifited a life in public service can be .. and he gave lessons on how to conduct such a life.
We'd like today - for you - mainly the listeners to offer your thoughts on Mr. Lougheed, to pass on a story or given an assessment of a remarkable Canadian, who just this week, at age 84, passed away.
Our question today: "What are your thoughts on the life and legacy of Peter Lougheed?"
I'm Rex Murphy ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius satellite radio channel 159 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.
- Don Mazankowski
MP for 25 years, former cabinet minister and Deputy Prime Minister under Brian Mulroney.
- Joan Crockatt
Former managing editor Calgary Herald now Conservative Candidate for Calgary Centre.
- Peter Stockland
Publisher Convivium magazine, former editor-in-chief of the Montreal Gazette, former editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald and legislature reporter for the Edmonton Sun during last years of Peter Lougheed's Premiership.
Globe and Mail
Born in 1981, I don't remember Peter Lougheed in office, but I live in gratitude for his legacy. And until recently, I never heard him speak. But when I did, my opinion of him as a great politician and a great premier transitioned into one of simply a great man. As one of your first listeners states, "when he speaks he warms your heart" and this could not be more true. Politics these days are anything but inspiring, but I aspire to be like Peter Lougheed--to treat people with respect, to rightfully disagree in times of debate, and to never condescend. He will be terribly missed, but we are so grateful he was here.
I've lived in Alberta almost all of my life, and while I am no fan of the Conservative Party that has held power for so long (way too long) in this province, I do credit Lougheed with having more vision and more respect for art and culture than many of the premiers who followed him. It was during the years of his government, for example, that many of the wonderful artistic festivals that still make summer in Edmonton and many other Alberta towns and cities so enjoyable were established, most I believe with the help of arts funding that his government established, and so for me, that will be his lasting legacy.
I am one of those who taught in Edmonton during the late Mr Peter Lougheed's time as the Premier of Alberta; besides that of the Mr Ernest Manning's time as well. Yes, I was proud of Mr Lougheed's stewardship. Alberta and the rest of Canada will miss him. He was a good man with a clear vision. "Grant rest! Oh! Lord Let light shine upon him", is my respectful thoughts of the great Canadian.
M. D. Appavoo
When my husband was a graduate student at the University of Alberta, he worked at the Bureau of Statistics, on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature. Both Peter Lougheed and Don Getty would occasionally be outside and would throw a football around with a group of them. He said Peter Lougheed was always very natural, unassuming and he was just a nice guy.
I didn't know much about Mr. Lougheed, but I have been learning today, and that's a good thing. Some of us may use this opportunity to make a point about contemporary politicians and that is what I will do. There is a phrase used as a formula in old Irish storytelling, a phrase that describes great figures from the past: "Ni beidh a leithead aris ann", if i remember my Irish half decently, it traslates as "We shall never see his like again". Sadly this it true of Lougheed. We need politicians who value ideas, and a school programme that prepares people to engage in the public debate.
Kingston, Nova Scotia
I saw a segment on CBC NewsNet....they showed a bit of an interview with someone from CBC & Lougheed sitting on a lawn in the last few years. The interviewee asked what Lougheed thought his legacy would be and Lougheed looked at the camera, started to get a philosophical demeanor, looked around the yard, (camera didn't pan), he caught his breath and said, "Family". And then, trying to hold back the tears he went on, "we are surrounded, where we are taping by my grandchildren...(and then you could hear little voices), "They are my legacy"
Peter Lougheed was certainly a pivotal player in the history of Alberta and of Canada. He got rid of the Social Credit party and the theocracy that had ruled Alberta for decades. He ushered the province into the future and allowed it to take its place in confederation and on the world stage. He was an enormous breath of fresh air not unlike our new premier and relatively new mayor.
Before waxing too sentimental over the relationship between Alberta and Quebec, let us not shovel it so high that we do not remember that the conversation between Trudeau/Ottawa was economic protest and that the split in conservative/socialist politics in the west became signature. The first person to really alarm Trudeau with economic autonomy was W.A.C Bennett (BC) over water, and that subsequent economic surprises (from Alberta and Quebec) for Trudeau and Ottawa were modeled on the maverick politics of Bennett who attempted as Lougheed to incorporate both socialist and conservative policies in his style of government.
Ladysmith British Columbia
It was in the late 70s when Lougheed was campaigning in his riding in Calgary that he came to my door and asked me what my occupation was. I told him I was a teacher and in the process of planning a grade 6 exchange trip with an Edmonton class and we were hoping to tour the Legislature. Premier Lougheed very kindly took time out from his very busy schedule to greet us, invite us into his office, shake each child's hand, present them with a provincial pin and gave us about a half hour sharing his role as Premier, a little history and encouragement to keep studying Canadian studies. What a wonderful memory I have of him and that incredible visit, as well as those 25 students who must remember that visit about 34 years ago.
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