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Jim Prentice Remembered In Alberta

Published: October 28, 2016 6:28 pm ET

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A state memorial was held on Friday for Jim Prentice, the former premier of Alberta and federal cabinet minister who passed away in a plane crash on Thursday, October 13.

Prentice, 60, was on board a twin-engine Cessna aircraft along with pilot Jim Kruk, Dr. Ken Gallatly -- the father-in-law of his daughter Cassia -- and retired businessman Sheldon Reid. That plane crashed shortly after its takeoff from Kelowna, B.C. for its Calgary destination.

Funeral services for Kruk, Reid and Gallatly were held earlier this month. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The service was hosted at the 2,500-seat Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary with a number of notable Canadians in attendance, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Prentice served as a valued member of Harper's cabinet during his time in federal politics.

"We gave the hardest assignments to the people best able to handle them and Jim was always one of those people," said Harper. "Jim served Canadians in vital and difficult ministries where his principles, his pragmatism and his sense of decency made a difference."

Harper considered Prentice a "dedicated, knowledgeable and respected" politician but more importantly a man that loved his family.

"We've lost a colleague and a friend, you've lost so much more," he said, speaking to Prentice's widow Karen and three daughters Christina, Cassia and Kate.

"I could see how deeply he loved his family. I could tell you his whole being would literally just light up when he talked about the strong, successful and loving women in his life."

Prentice was born on July 20, 1956, in South Porcupine, Ontario. When he was 13, his family moved to Grande Cache, then a new mining town in Alberta's Rocky Mountains. Prentice put himself through university working "under the bins" in the coal mines of the Crowsnest Pass. He received a bachelor of commerce from the University of Alberta and a bachelor of laws from Dalhousie University. He was designated as a Queen's Counsel in 1992 and a member of the Privy Council in 2006.

As a young lawyer, Mr. Prentice built a strong reputation for his expertise on property rights, co-founding a law firm in Calgary that specialized in landowner cases, and became known for his ability to resolve First Nation negotiations.

Prentice was sworn in as Alberta's 16th Premier on September 15, 2014. He served until May 24, 2015. During his time as Premier, he was in attendance for the opening of Century Downs Racetrack and Casino on April 25, 2015.

"This is a very significant investment in our province," Prentice said at Century Downs' opening. "Karen and I wanted to be here to share this beginning with you. Thank you very much and god bless."


Horse Racing Alberta's Chief Executive Officer Shirley McClellan was a longtime friend of Jim Prentice.

"Alberta and Canada has lost a good man who devoted years of service to Canada and his Province, Alberta," said McClellan.

In lieu of flowers, the Prentice family asks that donations be directed to the Children's Cottage Society. Donations can be made online or by mailing cheques to Unit 204, 2120 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary T2N 3R7.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Jim Prentice.

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