For­mer Pre­mier Jim Pren­tice dies in BC plane crash

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

For­mer Al­berta Pre­mier, Jim Pren­tice, per­ished in an air­plane crash in B.C. Thurs­day night.

Four peo­ple died in a crash just out­side of Kelowna. The twin-en­gine Cessna was en route to Spring­bank Air­port. The Trans­porta­tion Safety Board de­scribed the crash as “un­sur­viv­able.”

Pas­sion­ate about pol­i­tics, Pren­tice was through Drumheller and vis­ited the of­fices of on a cou­ple oc­ca­sions, when run­ning for the lead­er­ship of the Al­berta Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party and also when he ran in the 2015 pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

While he had made a ca­reer in law and pol­i­tics as an MP serv­ing as a cab­i­net min­is­ter un­der Stephen Harper be­fore be­com­ing an MLA and Pre­mier, he would talk can­didly about his min­ing roots. His fa­ther was a miner, and Pren­tice, as a stu­dent, would re­turn to the Crowsnest Pass dur­ing the sum­mer and work in the mines.

MP for Bat­tle River-Crow-

foot con­stituency Kevin Soren­son has fond mem­o­ries of Pren­tice.

"Jim was a col­league, a friend, and an Al­ber­tan," said Soren­son. "In the House today (Monday), peo­ple from all par­ties are rec­og­niz­ing that he was a true gen­tle­man who the love of his coun­try and prov­ince was his pas­sion."

He said he re­calls when they served to­gether - ev­ery Wed­nes­day the Al­berta cau­cus would meet to dis­cuss is­sues.

"Jim was a very vo­cal mem­ber of par­lia­ment that un­der­stood what Al­berta was deal­ing with," said Soren­son.

It wasn’t sur­pris­ing for Soren­son to see Pren­tice en­ter pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics.

"His de­sire to see Al­berta take the lead was strong. He be­lieved in con­ser­va­tive val­ues of hard work and low­er­ing taxes," he said.

When he wasn’t talk­ing about pol­icy, he was talk­ing about fam­ily.

His fam­ily was of pri­mary im­por­tance as well, he would talk about his daugh­ters all the time,” said Soren­son. Pren­tice was 60-years-old. “He was an im­por­tant part of the team when he was here in our cab­i­net, and now he is sorely missed on a per­sonal level,” said Soren­son.

Jim was a very vo­cal mem­ber of par­lia­ment that un­der­stood what Al­berta was deal­ing with." Kevin Soren­son

Yavis Fam­ily Res­tau­rant owner Mike Yavis, left, speaks with Jim Pren­tice when the for­mer pre­mier cam­paigned in Drumheller prior to the spring 2015 pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

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