CALGARY — Ralph Klein, Alberta’s most affable former premier, will be honoured next week by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, who’s bringing the Officer of the Order of Canada insignia to the province.
Johnston will be in Calgary to present the insignia to a member of Klein’s family in a ceremony at City Hall.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he was very pleased to hear about the announcement.
“I am incredibly touched that the Governor General’s Office and the Klein family have agreed to allow us to have the great honour hosting that ceremony here.
“Certainly the city is much, much stronger because of Mayor Klein’s leadership.
“It just feels so right for him to be able to get this honour here in the historic City Hall of Calgary.”
Klein was awarded an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 24 for his lasting contributions to the province of Alberta and to public life in Canada.
He served three consecutive terms as mayor of Calgary, during which time the city hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, creating a legacy of sports facilities and municipal infrastructure.
He later rose to become Alberta’s 12th premier, leading Alberta with a common touch and broad appeal through an era of economic advancement, innovation and prosperity that ultimately resulted in the elimination of the province’s deficit.
Nenshi said he believes it’s extremely rare that an Order of Canada ceremony is held outside Rideau Hall.
“It’s usually only done in cases where the person absolutely cannot travel,” he said.
“I have not heard of a situation before where they give it to a family and they don’t go to the person’s home, they do it in Ottawa.”
Klein has stepped back from the public spotlight over the past few years and has been battling a lung disease.
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