09/16/2012 05:23 EDT | Updated 11/16/2012 05:12 EST

Peter Lougheed: Former Alberta Premier's Body Travelling To Edmonton Legislature Where It Will Lie In State


EDMONTON - Members of Peter Lougheed's family will accept condolences from the public as the former Alberta premier's body lies in state at the provincial legislature.

A coffin holding Lougheed's body will be on display Monday and Tuesday in the legislature rotunda so that people can pay their respects.

The province says members of the Lougheed family will greet the public.

The coffin will be closed during the public viewing at the legislature.

A motorcade accompanied the body of the former premier as it was brought from Calgary to Edmonton on Sunday afternoon.

Lougheed, who is widely credited as being one of the most influential leaders in the province's history, died in hospital in Calgary on Thursday at the age of 84.

He led the Progressive Conservatives to victory over the governing Social Credit party in 1971. He remained premier until 1985, and the Tory party has remained in power ever since.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced last week she was returning home early from a trade mission to China because of Lougheed's death. Redford had known Lougheed from her earliest days in politics and has often spoken of him as a mentor.

Plans for a public memorial were expected in the coming days.

The province says the Lougheed family has asked that people donate to one of Lougheed's preferred charities, or volunteer, rather than bring flowers or gifts while the coffin is lying in state.

However, any flowers that are brought will be collected at the end of each day by Alberta Health Services and will be distributed to hospitals or care centres.

Lougheed's accomplishments while in office were many.

He became a hero at home and a nationally recognized figure for battles with Ottawa over control of Alberta's oil resources. And he nurtured the oilsands development which has become a economic driver of the country.

During the debates over patriating the Constitution, Lougheed fought for a role for the provinces and helped engineer a notwithstanding clause to ensure their rights.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called him a giant of both Alberta and Canadian history.

Lougheed remained politically active after leaving the legislature in 1986.

He spoke out against the Kyoto accord to control greenhouse gases, but urged caution over the environmental effects from unbridled growth of the oilsands.

His endorsement of Redford in the final days of the Alberta election campaign last spring has been cited as one of the key factors in her win.

Lougheed's family has said that it will hold a private funeral, but a public memorial service is being planned.

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Peter Lougheed On Being Premier See Gallery
Photo gallery Peter Lougheed Accomplishments See Gallery
Photo gallery Who Was Canada's Best Premier? See Gallery