Law Society of Alberta Mourns Canadian Lawyer and Politician
By Steve Raby, QC, President, Law Society of Alberta
The Law Society of Alberta expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Honourable E. Peter Lougheed, PC, CC, AOE, QC who passed away September 13, 2012.
Peter Lougheed was admitted to the Alberta bar on October 6, 1955 before the Honourable Mr. Justice M.M. Porter. He articled under W.A. McGillivray, and practised with the firm Fenerty, Fenerty, McGillivray, Prowse & Brennan.
In 1956, he joined the Mannix Corporation, a prominent construction firm, as general counsel. In 1962, Peter Lougheed resigned as Mannix’s general counsel, vice-president and director and returned to private practice as a founding partner in the firm of Lougheed, Ballem and McDill.
In 1965, Peter Lougheed was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Subsequently, in the provincial election of 1967, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to represent the electoral district of Calgary West and, from 1967 to 1971, served as Leader of the Official Opposition.
Upon his election as the 10th premier of Alberta in 1971, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. For 14 years until 1985, Peter Lougheed served as premier of the province. In 1996, the Law Society honoured him with a Distinguished Service Award for his exemplary Service to the Community.
In 2005, the Law Society recognized his years of service by presenting him with a certificate for 50 years of long service. He was an active lawyer, practising with the firm Bennett Jones LLP up until his death.
On October 4, 2007, Peter Lougheed was a keynote speaker along with the Right Honourable Beverly McLachlin, PC, Chief Justice of Canada, at the Law Society of Alberta’s centennial gala dinner. He focused his remarks on the role of lawyers as lawmakers.
The following are some excerpts from his speech which I bring forward for reflection:
“Let me commend the legal profession in Alberta for our history and for your commitment to professionalism; to those in general practice for their constant efforts toward fairness and justice in our society; to those practising in Criminal Law for their conviction in the concept of innocence unless proven otherwise; to those working within the walls of corporations and businesses for bringing equity at high standard to the business transactions; and to those working in non-elected government positions or not for profits for being constantly forward with high qualities of service; and to those at the Universities teaching the next wave of practitioners for embedding them with the respect of the law that is (required).”
“I hope for the legal profession of Alberta the continuation of the high quality of practice in this Province; for the better public appreciation of the contribution of lawyers by the public throughout the Province; for the continuation of the effectiveness of our sustaining the discipline of our own member in the way that we do so; for the better communication in the ways we help the less fortunate in our communities; for the continued involvement of the lawyers in the not for profit groups in our communities; for the encouragement of women and men, both of them women and men, to seat public office in our province and in our community.”
“This is what I hope for in the future for our profession and I sense speaking to all of you here and through to Edmonton. I have a sense of optimism in regard to this, I sense pride in our past which has been quite a big part of this evening and some of the comments that I have made. I sense confidence in the future of this province.”
Peter Lougheed epitomized everything that a lawyer should strive to be. He was loyal to his country and his province. He recognized that the guiding principles of the legal profession should be fairness and justice, especially for those less fortunate in our communities. He recognized the higher calling of service to the community and the many ways in which such service can be provided. And he was proud of the legal profession and truly proud to be called a lawyer.
At this time, all Albertans should reflect on his many contributions to our province and our communities. And all Alberta lawyers should be proud to have been a professional colleague.