He was a football star, a Harvard graduate, a visionary, a
statesman and Canada's blue-eyed sheik. He was Peter Lougheed. And
for many, he was the greatest premier in Alberta's history.
Although only in office for 14 years, Lougheed's legacy
surrounds us, from a provincial park and a hospital that bear his
name, to social programs and energy policies that guide the
Lougheed's vision paved the way for developing the oilsands, the
Heritage Savings Trust Fund and Alberta Bill of Rights and led to
government support for education and arts and culture.
He was also a giant on the national stage, fending off Pierre
Trudeau's hated National Energy Program and becoming a key player
in the constitutional debate.
Although he was passionate about Alberta and its right to
control its resources, and its future, Lougheed always maintained
he was a Canadian first. That bears out in the many tributes since
his death from former colleagues and adversaries such as former
prime minister Jean Chretien, former Ontario premier Bill Davis and
Marc Lalonde, the Liberal cabinet minister who introduced the
Lalonde said Lougheed played "hardball" for Alberta at the
negotiation table, "but nobody could question his strong views
about Canada, and his strong support for Canadian unity."
The Calgary Herald has covered every part of Lougheed's
life, from his storied family background to his stunning election
win over the Socreds in 1971, through to his retirement in 1985 and
his death on Sept. 13, 2012.
Alberta's Champion pulls together articles, photographs
and front pages from some of the most important phases of his life
and includes columns written by Lougheed himself.
"We got Albertans to think as Canadians. We didn't think of
ourselves as just provincial, we thought of ourselves nationally
and we contributed nationally not just in public life and in
government but we contributed in a multitude of other ways--the
arts and culture and sports, in writing and business and science.
All of those were contributions by Albertans into Canada."