In sharing her “profound sorrow” over the death of former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, current provincial leader Rachel Notley touched on how her own father was also killed in a plane crash.
Prentice died Thursday evening after the small plane he was on crashed in a heavily forested area in southern B.C.
File photo of Jim Prentice. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
On Friday, Notley commended Prentice, 60, who was also a former federal Conservative MP, for his dedication to public service. She said he “deeply loved” Alberta and “worked tirelessly” in the offices he held.
“There are no words adequate for moments like this, as my family knows very well,” Notley said at a press conference in Edmonton.
“To all Albertans, I urge you to look at the faces of those we love and remember that every moment with them is a precious gift."
Notley referenced her own father, who died under similar tragic circumstances over three decades ago.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to the media at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton on Oct. 14. (Photo: Dan Riedlhuber/Reuters)
Grant Notley, a political legend in Alberta, was leader of the provincial opposition NDP when he died in a plane crash near Grande Prairie, Alta. on Oct. 19, 1984.
His daughter Rachel was 20 at the time.
Contact sheet photographs of Grant Notley taken on Jan. 15, 1982. (Photo: Arnaud Maggs / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, R7959)
The elder Notley is credited with helping to establish the NDP in Alberta — a province long regarded as a conservative stronghold.
His work would eventually help his daughter topple the longtime Progressive-Conservative government to become the province’s first NDP premier in 2015.
The High River Times’ Craig Baird wrote about reputation the late Notley earned during his time in office:
Many describe Notley as a man with a remarkable intellect, who could quickly get to the heart of complex issues. He would oppose the Progressive Conservatives without malice, often making points that would help them improve their own policies.
In 2010, a provincial electoral district in northern Alberta was renamed to honour the late politician.
Premier Notley said memorial arrangements for Prentice will be announced at a later date.