Peter Lougheed honoured in public memorial

Peter Lougheed (right) spars amicably with his energy-policy nemesis, Pierre Trudeau, in the late 1970s. Photo: Provincial Archives of Alberta
Published September 24, 2012

The late Peter Lougheed, the former premier of Alberta who died in Calgary on Sept. 13 at age 84, was honoured Friday afternoon at a public memorial in Calgary.

The public service, which followed a private family funeral earlier in the month, took place at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Governor General David Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Alison Redford paid tribute.

Lougheed, a charismatic lawyer, businessman and former professional football player, served as premier from 1971 to 1985 and is considered the father of modern Alberta.

In Edmonton, mourners paid their respects on Monday and Tuesday to the man called the best Canadian premier of the past 40 years as they filed past his flag-draped casket in the Alberta legislature.

Lougheed, an Anglican, was the grandson of Sir James Lougheed, a lawyer and federal Conservative cabinet minister and senator. Born in Calgary in 1928, he obtained a law degree from the University of Alberta and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

In the 1970 and 80s, Lougheed fought fiercely for Alberta’s interests in conflicts with the government of Pierre Trudeau over energy policy, and defended the cause of provincial equality. He even lent money from oil-rich Alberta’s Heritage Fund to other provinces,

Although he supported the (responsible) development of Alberta’s oil sands, he was ecologically sensitive, he appointed Canada’s first provincial environment minister and ushered in recycling legislation in the the early 1970s.

Lougheed was a voice for the emerging West but he also championed Canadian unity, avowing throughout his life that he was a Canadian before he was an Albertan.



  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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