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Jim Prentice remembered as dedicated business leader and politician

UPDATE #2: Prentice served on Canadian Pacific Railway’s Board of Directors from June 2013 to May 2014. CEO E. Hunter Harrison says the company is deeply saddened by his loss.

“We are incredibly saddened to learn of the loss of Jim Prentice. He was a tireless public servant, leader and friend. It was a privilege to know Jim and our thoughts go out to his loved ones at this very difficult time.”

“There are no words to describe how we are feeling at this time,” adds Andrew F. Reardon, Chairman of the Board. “Jim served on CP’s board during a time of extraordinary change and his knowledge, passion and leadership were critical in setting the company on a path to success. He was valued at the board level and he will be greatly missed by everyone. On behalf of the board, I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”

UPDATE: Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale worked under Jim Prentice and considered him a close friend. He says he’ll remember him as compassionate and understanding.

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“He dedicated a good part of his life for serving Alberta and Canada and the community and I know he was a strong family man and always a good friend and generous man to me.”

Drysdale says that in Prentice’s time as premier, he appreciated the faith he had in his cabinet.

“There’s no doubt he was on a different intellect level than a lot of people and left his mark in lots of places, including business.”

The condolences are pouring in from politicians from across the country after the death of former premier Jim Prentice. He and three others died in a plane crash near Kelowna, B.C. Thursday night.

Grande Prairie – Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin worked with Prentice when he was a federal cabinet minister. He says he was a trusted leader who was always willing to help when Warkentin was elected in 2006.

“Jim was a longer-serving member of our caucus but he was also a colleague from the province of Alberta and so he really took me under his wing in some respects and gave me a lot of good advice during those early years.”

Prentice was elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and resigned in 2010. He re-entered politics in 2014 as he replaced Progressive Conservative leader Allison Redford, who had resigned earlier that year.

“As people reflect on Jim’s contribution, I think that one thing is clear: that Jim continued to make personal sacrifices to serve the public,” says Warkentin. “Jim didn’t enter politics for the money; he had a successful career before he entered politics, but believed that he had something to contribute.”

The County of Grande Prairie has lowered its flags to half-mast.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark has issued a statement:

“Like many Canadians, I was shocked to hear the news about Jim Prentice. This is a terrible loss for our country. It’s a rare privilege to meet people of Jim’s character in any walk of life. He was a man of his word, would keep confidences, and his handshake was worth more than any written agreement.

“Simply by being himself, Jim Prentice elevated political discourse in this country with his dignity, kindness, and focus. Jim devoted his life to making Canada better – and he succeeded. Jim had a remarkable and distinguished career, but I think he took the most pride in being a husband, father, and grandfather. My thoughts are with Jim’s family.”

CIBC has also expressed its condolences. Prentice served as Vice-Chairman of the bank and a member of CIBC’s Senior Executive Team from 2011 until he was elected leader of the Alberta Conservative Party and appointed Premier of Alberta in 2014.

“This news comes as a terrible shock to all of us,” said Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC. “Jim was a great friend, colleague and Canadian. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s wife, Karen, and their children and extended family.

“During his tenure with CIBC, Jim was instrumental in enhancing CIBC’s relationship with our clients across Canada and internationally. He left a lasting mark on our bank. He cared deeply for our country and had a tremendous ability to engage with people. His death is a tremendous loss for our country.”

Many others have shared their thoughts and stories on Twitter:

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