In a blog about Alberta politics, it would inappropriate for me to post today on anything other than the sad news from Edmonton this morning that former Alberta NDP Leader Pam Barrett has died.
Pam Barrett was the leading opposition politician in Alberta when I first got involved with provincial politics. Even though I knew early on that there was little that this woman and I would agree on, I was thrilled at the opportunity to meet her when I spotted her in a downtown Edmonton shopping mall in the late 90s. I suppose it was her straight talk and passion for issues that I admired. The online photo galleries remembering her today in the Sun and the Journal brought these memories flooding back.
People on both sides of the political spectrum can agree that she was a strong leader who was steadfast in her principles. I think her most appealing quality, perhaps, was her ability to set partisanship aside and deal with other MLAs and activists as human beings. Her enduring friendship with former Premier Ralph Klein is a prime example of this.
For my part, I extend my condolences to Ms. Barrett's loved ones and to her compatriots and my friends in the New Democratic Party. As they mourn her loss, I know they will also reflect on the wonderful legacy that she has left her party and our province.