Jim Prentice honoured in messages of condolence in Calgary and on Parliament Hill
Calgarians sign book for former premier's family; MPs rise to remember colleague in the House of Commons
Condolences continued to pour in Monday for Jim Prentice's family, as Canadians across the country honoured the former Alberta premier and Calgary MP.
Prentice was killed last week in a plane crash.
"He has done so much for our country and it's really sad to see his passing," said Joyce Chan, who visited the McDougall Centre in downtown Calgary to sign a book of condolences.
"He is someone who has devoted his whole life in serving the country. Not so many people have this kind of personality, quality and the willingness."
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Manny Deol, who knew Prentice for the past 20 years, also felt compelled to sign the book and pay his respects.
"I have great respect for him, and it's sad that he left," Deol said.
"He made an impact even before he was premier, as minister of industry. He cared about Alberta."
The book, itself, contained many more messages in honour of Prentice.
"As an Aboriginal person, on behalf of so many native people in our communities, thank you so much for your kindness, love and support," Gayle McKenzie wrote.
"I will miss having Jim as a neighbour in Rosedale," added Dawn Millman, in another written note. "My heart goes out to his wife and children. May God bless you and be with you at this time."
Tom Palaia, who arrived in Calgary in August 2015 to serve as the U.S. Consul General for Alberta, also signed the book with a message to Prentice's family.
"I will always remember the warm welcome Jim extended to me and my family," he wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers are with you all."
Memories in the House of Commons
Meanwhile, on Parliament Hill, politicians from both sides of the aisle rose to pay their respects to their former colleague.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose rose in the House of Commons to describe Prentice as "a close member of our Conservative family for a very long time" and say he will be sorely missed.
"Jim served his constituents in Calgary Centre North for over six years with devotion," Ambrose said.
"His genuine, blue-collar upbringing clearly served him well as the minister responsible for Aboriginal affairs, for industry and for environment. He was a true gentleman politician: kind and possessing a love of public policy and public service."
Speaking "with a heavy heart," Edmonton Centre Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault described Prentice as "one of our most devoted public servants" and a man who served Canadians "with honour and conviction."
"As a cabinet minister, Mr. Prentice was instrumental in establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As an MP, he showed great courage and compassion by standing as a supporter of marriage equality when it was not easy to do so." Boissonnault said.
"As premier, he was a tireless advocate for the environment and the economy."
Brian Masse, the NDP MP for Windsor West, said Prentice "carried himself with a dignity and honour that all honourable members would do well to emulate."
"He was thorough and highly competent in his preparation, measured and articulate in debate, and his true strength was working with all members in this House," Masse said.
"Canada is a better place for his service with us."
With files from Bryan Labby