February 20th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 8
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Former Premier Jim P gets honoured in Alberta Legislature
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has been honoured inside the halls of the Alberta Legislature.

A portrait of Alberta’s 16th Premier, created by artist David Goatley, was hung in Edmonton on Monday February 4, to mark his importance to Alberta and the work he accomplished as a leader of this province.

Before his time as a politician, Premier Prentice had studied to become a lawyer and spent his summers working in the Coleman Collieries as a laborer and had also driven coal trucks in the early years of the Byron Creek Collieries at Corbin.

This was his way of paying for school.

Once he began his practice, he did legal work for family and friends in the Crowsnest Pass.

He was also involved in the Crowsnest Pass on the business side of things.

Premier Prentice owned the Pass Promoter in the early 1990’s and renovated current building of Steiger Flooring to house the Promoter.

He was part owner of the A&B Liquor Store since 2003 and has owned a large parcel of land in the Crowsnest Pass since 1998.

Premier Prentice’s sister Lori says that Jim often said he was a businessman in the Crowsnest Pass.

Lori says that his love of the area was why he made sure to stay in touch with the area when he began his life as a politician.
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“He felt it was important to stay connected to the Crowsnest Pass area. He felt it was his home.”

Lori says that his background of the mining life due to his grandfather and father being miners connected him to the values and beliefs of the people in the area.

The land was also a large part of what drew his love for the Crowsnest Pass.

He had built a log cabin with his father when he was younger and had plans for some of the land that he held with partners but felt that most of it should be protected to be enjoyed for its beauty.

Premier Prentice began his journey in politics in 1976 when he joined the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

In 1986, Premier Prentice ran in the provincial election to represent a Calgary Riding, but was beat out by NDP candidate Bob Hawkesworth.

He started his parliamentary career in 2004 after winning 54 per cent of the vote in his Calgary riding.

During the unveiling of the portrait, many of the people who spoke, including current Premier Rachel Notley, spoke of his work with the Indigenous population.

Lori says that work had already begun when he was working as a lawyer.
“He had done that work since the mid 80’s when he was a lawyer and he started doing land claims.”

She added that he was very skilled in mediation and his work with people was a reflection of that.

Lori says that the unveiling was a nice tribute to him and that having this picture there now is a fitting place for him.
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“When we saw the picture hung where it’s going to stay, it was like he was where he belonged. It gave that bit of closure.”

Lori says that whenever Jim came back, he tried to leave all the chaos of his work behind in order to spend time with the people of the Crowsnest Pass and remembers some of the highlights of a few visits.

“In 2014 Jim came to the Hillcrest 100 Anniversary and he got to visit with men he worked with at Coleman Collieries and pay respects to fallen miners. Also, during his Leadership campaign Jim packed the Lions Pride Hall and had a personal connection with virtually every person there.”

When it comes to Jim’s legacy, Lori says it changes depending on who you talk to.

“His work with the Indigenous people was incredibly important to him and I think the work he did to further the way the government deals with land with Indigenous people would probably be a legacy to some.”
But for her and her family, the legacy is something different.

“The legacy our family is most proud of is the creation of the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor west of Coleman. It is what we chose to bear his name because it combines his love of the nature, wildlife, the Crowsnest Pass and Conservation. He felt the wildlife corridors in Banff were a tremendous thing and he would be proud to have his name on this.”

Although Calgary was Premier Prentice’s main home for him and his family, the Crowsnest Pass was somewhere he always believed was his second home and having the Jim Prentice Wildlife Corridor in the Crowsnest Pass is one way of showing that.
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February 20th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 8
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