Ex-premier among dead

UPDATE: 1 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was deeply saddened to learn that former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice was killed in a plane crash just outside of Kelowna.

“Jim Prentice brought his deep convictions to everything he turned his hand to, whether it was law, business, or politics. At each step of his career, he worked tirelessly for the people of Canada and Alberta – both as a federal minister in several different portfolios, and later, as premier of the province.

“He was broadly respected in the House of Commons – across all party lines – for his intelligence, commitment, and honest straightforward approach on tough issues. I greatly enjoyed the time I spent working closely beside Jim in the House, and know that he will be missed by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

“Today, we mourn the passing of a great Canadian. His legacy will live on in the work he did for Albertans and for all Canadians – particularly in the important role he played in finalizing the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement – and through his daughters, who he loved dearly and was incredibly proud of.  

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends and to the loved ones of all those who perished in this tragic accident.”

UPDATED: 11:55 a.m.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper has paid tribute to Jim Prentice.

"Laureen and I were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of our friend and colleague Jim Prentice," Harper said in a statement.

"Jim was a family man, friend, leader, and most importantly, a proud Canadian. His legacy will live on through his loving family and dedicated years of service."

UPDATED: 11:29 a.m.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi called the death of Prentice and the other passengers on the doomed plane a "devastating loss for everyone."

In a statement posted online, Nenshi said Prentice was an inspiration. 

"I also get to work with people who are thoughtful, respectful, and driven by a need improve this community we all share," Nenshi wrote. "Jim was all of these things, and so much more. He is an inspiration to all of us who aspire to public service."

UPDATED: 10:49 a.m.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark called Jim Prentice's death a "terrible loss for Canada."

"I don't know if in politics I've met many people who were people of such good character," Clark said Friday morning. "He was a man of his word and he was a man who wanted the best for the people he served.”

James Moore, a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party from 2000 to 2014, tweeted his condolences about Jim Prentice's passing Friday morning. 

"Proud Albertan, great Canadian, terrible tragedy," Moore wrote. "A gent, a friend, a leader is gone. Thinking of Karen (Prentice's wife) and family on this awful day."

ORIGINAL: 9:36 a.m.

Numerous sources are reporting that former Alberta premier Jim Prentice was killed in Thursday night's plane crash near Winfield.

According to ipolitics.ca, the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party has not confirmed Prentice was on board the Cessna Citation business jet.

The coroner’s office has yet to name the four people killed in the crash.

Meanwhile, ipolitics reports that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has cancelled a planned trip to Red Deer and is planning a media conference later in the day.

Prentice, born July 20, 1956, served as the 16th premier of Alberta from 2014 to 2015.

In 2004 he was first elected as a federal MP for Calgary Centre-North with the Conservative Party of Canada.

He was re-elected in the 2006 federal election and appointed to the cabinet as minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

He became minister of Industry in 2007 and, after the 2008 election, became minister of Environment.

Prentice resigned later that year to enter provincial politics, replacing Alison Redford as leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta.

Prentice's PCs were defeated at the polls in 2015. Despite winning re-election in Calgary-Foothills, Prentice resigned as leader and retired from politics.

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