Premier Rachel Notley spent time on Monday fondly remembering a former political foe. Former Premier Jim Prentice was killed in a plane crash last Thursday night, coming back from a golf trip to Kelowna, BC.
It was a particularly painful event for Premier Notley, whose own father was killed in a plane crash. Grant Notley was Alberta’s NDP leader when he died in 1984. Rachel Notley told Global News the public support her family received helped them understand how important her dad was to the people of Alberta.
Premier Notley reached out to Jim’s wife Karen when she heard about the fatal crash.
“It was a very difficult time for her but certainly, I obviously have a bit of experience … maybe more of an understanding than many about what she was going through that very day or the night before.”
The premier says, “I’ve been very pleased over the course of the last few days to see the outpouring that’s been demonstrated by Albertans, and the level of respect that’s been described by Albertans. I believe that that will be a very significant comfort to Karen as well as to her daughters and to their grandchildren.”
“There’s no words that anyone can say at a time like that, but just simply to let her know whatever the government of Alberta could do to help her family through this, we were certainly willing to do anything we could.”
Premier Notley said she had a good conversation with Prentice a few days after the provincial election, which saw the NDP beat the ruling PCs.
She said they talked about the campaign and projects he’d been working on. “You may be on opposite sides, but you’re both candidates and so you actually have a lot of shared experiences.”
“He was very dedicated to try to improve outcomes for indigenous people in Alberta … We’re continuing to work on a lot of the same principles and ideas he’d gotten under way.”
Rachel Notley said, at age 60, Jim Prentice still had so much to give Alberta and Canada.
“He was still of an age where he had tremendous opportunities to contribute. I think he had a very wide-ranging perspective. He was one of those people who could go into a room with people of differing views and be heard. There was certainly lots of opportunity for him to continue to serve Alberta in different ways.” (with files from Global News, eb)