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Margaret Thatcher Dead: Alison Redford, Danielle Smith Share Condolences

Alberta Wildrose leader Danielle Smith says former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher helped inspire her to enter politics.

Smith says Thatcher, who has died at age 87, was one of four great conservatives in her lifetime.

She says the other three are Preston Manning, Ralph Klein, and Ronald Reagan.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford also issued a statement, saying she was was saddened to learn of the passing of Lady Thatcher and that she will be missed.

"She was an incredible woman who lived a life defined by courage, determination and an iron will," said Redford.

"She was a powerful voice for democratic and economic freedom in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and across the globe. The world is lessened by her passing, but a far greater place because of her character and strength," she added.

Smith once met Thatcher at a lecture series and had her autograph a book.

She says Thatcher not only championed balanced budgets and minimalist government, she was also the first woman to lead Britain as prime minister.

With files from The Canadian Press

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