Torchbearer and former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed crosses into British Columbia from Alberta with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic flame

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee: Peter Lougheed

The tenth premier of Alberta, notable philanthropist and multiple award recipient, The Honourable E. Peter Lougheed bore considerable influence on Canadian society over the past four decades. The Olympic Movement was very much part of that influence.

While Alberta Premier, Lougheed was an instrumental figure in assembling the Calgary’s bid to host the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988. (He himself had been an athlete, professionally, playing in the Canadian Football League for the Edmonton Eskimos.) That bid was of course successful, coming under his Government and resulting in Canada’s first experience as winter Olympic host.

Lougheed was premier from 1971 to 1985, yet his integral role in bringing the Games to Calgary was honoured in being named Honorary Chair of the Organizing Committee for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. In 2000, Lougheed was awarded the Canadian Olympic Order for his leadership within this country’s Olympic Movement.

A prominent Canadian politician, Lougheed was a much-admired and accomplished 14-year premier. His first formal act as premier was establishing the Alberta Bill of Rights. In the ensuing years he cemented provincial rights while the Canadian constitution was repatriated, helped strengthen rural Alberta towns, created a Heritage Savings Trust Fund, passionately defended Alberta’s trove of natural resources, and redeveloped secondary school curriculum.

Much of what Lougheed did took national attention. Even after leaving office in 1985, he became an important architect of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States.

His list of honours is lengthy, and includes the Queen’s Counsel, the Alberta Order of Excellence, the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Companion of the Order of Canada, two honorary degrees and being named honorary chief of the Cree Indians and Blood Indians.

There is a provincial park in Kananaskis County and a multicultural village in Edmonton both named for Peter Lougheed.