Prentice Killed In Kelowna Air Crash

Former Alberta Conservative Premier Jim Prentice died Thursday in a plane crash just north of Kelowna, British Columbia, say news reports.

The CBC reported that Prentice was among four persons killed when the small plane in which he was a passenger crashed about 9:40 p.m., shortly after takeoff from the Kelowna airport en route to the Springbank airport.

Prentice, 60, whose government was defeated in May 2015 by Premier Rachel Notley’s New Democrats, had been a two-term federal MP for Calgary Centre-North prior to leaving federal politics to take an executive position with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Jim Prentice during an interview with the Daily Oil Bulletin in late 2014.

While in Ottawa, Prentice, a lawyer, had served as a minister in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, holding portfolios as minster of Indian and Northern Affairs, Industry and Environment.

Following his selection as leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party in September 2014, Prentice was elected MLA for Calgary Foothills in a by-election.

Although re-elected to the Alberta Legislature, Prentice immediately resigned as MLA and as party leader, joining the Washington-based Canada Institute at the Wilson Center where he worked as a visiting fellow.

In June 2016, Prentice joined the private equity firm Warburg Pincus with a focus on investment opportunities in the Canadian energy sector.

Although there has not yet been an official confirmation, University of Calgary president Elizabeth Cannon this morning issued a statement recognizing “with great sorrow” the loss of the former premier. “On behalf of the University of Calgary and the entire campus community, our collective thoughts and hearts are with his family and friends as we mourn his passing,” she said.

“A supporter of the University of Calgary, Prentice’s contributions demonstrated his commitment to the importance of post-secondary education,” said Cannon. “His dedication and passion for Alberta and Canada will always be remembered.”

“Like many Canadians, I was shocked to hear the news about Jim Prentice,” added B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

“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.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said today it has deployed a team of investigators to an accident involving a Cessna Citation that occurred north of Kelowna. The TSB is gathering information and assessing the occurrence.