Lougheed tops poll of best premiers in last 40 years

Peter Lougheed on the stump
Oct. 28, 1982: Premier Peter Lougheed tells St. Albert faithful this is no time to rest on their Conservative laurels." Edmonton Sun photo by Robert Taylor.

The Institute for Research on Public Policy, an independent think tank based in Montreal, is celebrating 40 years of existence and, as part of that celebration, it surveyed 30 “eminent historians, political scientists, economists, journalists and policy advisers” to determine who was Canada’s best premier in those 40 years.

The top response? Peter Lougheed, the Progressive Conservative Premier of Alberta from 1971 to 1985. In fat, the IRPP says their survey respondents had Lougheed by a landslide as the best premier any province has had since 1972. In the number two spot — Ontario’s Bill Davis. Davis, the IRPP notes, didn’t rate any 1st-place votes from the survey group, but seemed to be the consensus pick for second best. Rounding out the top five: Saskatchewan’s Allan Blakeney, New Brunswick’s Frank McKenna and Quebec’s Robert Bourassa.

The IRPP plans to toast Lougheed in Calgary in June at a special dinner. Guest speaker that evening will be the woman who just extended the dynasty Lougheed began — a dynasty that will shortly be the longest political dynasty ever in Canadian history — Premier Alison Redford. Darn good thing Lougheed endorsed her in the just-concluded election campaign!

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