May 20th, 2018

Lougheed should be recognized as the hero he was


By Letter to the Editor on February 11, 2018.

There is a total absence of “modern-day heroes” in our Canadian era. I had a lively debate about this lacking phenomenon with a friendly professor recently. I argued that there was a great unheralded Alberta premier who deserves recognition and praise for his beneficial and progressive manifestations during his tenure.

I recollect his conversation with a past Calgary Herald editor, then working for Le Devoir in Montreal, asking him to how to get into politics. He told Peter Lougheed, whom this story is about, that “even a three-legged donkey could get into the Conservative party of Alberta. Peter answered that he was not a conservative. Lougheed,had just finished the University of Alberta and playing football for the Edmonton professional team, but yearned to get into politics. He was from a well-to-do family. He advanced in the party was elected as premier, and saw the changes that were needed in the economics of Alberta.

The tarsands oil development was at its beginnings, and Premier Lougheed stated that Alberta’s next few generations would be blessed with a well-deserved modest Iiving and jobs. He was visited by a delegation from Norway, who had just discovered oil in the North Sea, and they were seeking information on the royalty rates they should be receiving on the oil production. The famous Lougheed answer still rings out loud and clear: “It’s 35 per cent or get off the lot!”

The stature of the great man grew, but alas, as the time passed and government leadership changed, the royalty rates declined and the Klein government dropped the rates to a meagre seven to nine per cent; for shame! Lougheed brought in many beneficial legislative protocols and deserves to be recognized and honoured for his forthright legislative and public manifestations.

Personally I think that he should be justifiably honoured and and provincially declared a hero.

Lougheed purchased 300 grain cars and had the name of every Alberta town that had a grain elevator emblazoned on each grain car. This is just one of the many positive and beneficial efforts he was known for.

This man deserves to be honoured and declared an Alberta hero. We need heroes!

Frank J. Toth

Lethbridge

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3 Responses to “Lougheed should be recognized as the hero he was”

  1. diplomacy works says:

    I always enjoy your writing, Mr. Toth, thank you.

    It seems Lougheed’s legacy is overshadowed by mindless hatred of the NEP.
    Which Lougheed signed.
    For some good reasons.

    The modern Conservative movement would likely see him as a *shudder* socialist.

  2. biff says:

    fine letter ft. excellent add on, dw. indeed, the nep was well over vilified for political gain; there was much in it to preserve alberta well being, and to benefit canada at large.one clarification i might add is that post lougheed, the royalty returns generally netted 3-6%. subsidies afforded to oil companies by us, the tax payer, and a ridiculous system of exemptions and write offs assured big oil that they got away with massive brunt of the wealth, and we got left with very little of the money, and yet, all of the toxic waste.

    • diplomacy works says:

      Thanks for that update, biff.

      Things got worse and worse for the taxpayer.
      I thought Notley’s review might turn it around but she decided to spend her political capital elsewhere. Sad but understandable.


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