Last month, former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed passed away. On Sept. 19, I spoke in the Ontario Legislature to pay tribute to him. The following is the Hansard record of my remarks:
“I rise this afternoon as our party’s critic to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to pay tribute to one of our finest Canadians, who passed away last week.
“Peter Lougheed was one of the most consequential premiers that this country has ever seen. I was privileged to meet him once at an event in Toronto in the late 1990s, along with our now Halton region chair, Gary Carr.
“As a political leader, Peter Lougheed was moderate, sensible and practical. Last week I heard former Alberta Premier Don Getty interviewed on CBC Radio. He described his colleague Mr. Lougheed as someone who was great to work with and who inspired everyone around him by his example.
“When Peter Lougheed assumed the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, it was a minor party with limited prospects. He transformed it into one of the greatest political dynasties in Canadian history, holding power in Alberta without interruption since 1971.
“He was a statesman who was widely respected across the country and was influential in the patriation of the Canadian Constitution. However, he was forthright and resolute in standing up to the federal government in fighting for his province’s interests.
“He presided over the transformation of Alberta into the booming energy powerhouse that we know today. He was a good steward of the province’s resources. He did not squander his province’s new-found oil wealth but instead had the foresight to establish the Alberta Heritage Fund to put money away for a rainy day.
“Peter Lougheed was a man of honesty and integrity. He was a true leader who always had the best interests of his province at heart. Peter Lougheed exemplified the kind of leadership that every province would hope for.
“All across Canada, we lament his passing, and our sincere condolences are extended to his family.”
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The glorious transition of the seasons, from summer to autumn, is upon us once again. In rural Ontario, it has been the time for fall fairs.
Year after year in communities across Ontario, enthusiastic local volunteers work very hard to organize and set up these annual celebrations of farming and our rural way of life.
I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who helped with the fall fairs in Aberfoyle, Acton, Fergus, and Georgetown. I attended and enjoyed all of them, and look forward to the Erin Fair on the Thanksgiving weekend.
Thanks to all who volunteer their time and talents to help show the very best of our communities.
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott welcomes comments. He can be reached at 1-800-265-2366. His website address is www.tedarnottmpp.com.