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Chronology of Peter Lougheed's achievements as Alberta premier

EDMONTON - Peter Lougheed served as Alberta's premier from Sept. 10, 1971, until Nov. 1, 1985. He passed away the evening of September 13, 2012. Some of the highlights of his political career:

1965: Elected leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Party has never formed government in Alberta and doesn't have a single seat in the legislature.

1967: Lougheed wins his seat of Calgary West in the provincial election. Five other Tories are elected as well. Party becomes official Opposition to the governing Social Credit party.

1971: Tories defeat the government of Harry Strom in provincial election. They take 49 of 70 seats to end a 36-year Social Credit dynasty. One of Lougheed's first acts is to increase royalties paid by oil companies.

1975: Tories win second election with 69 of 75 seats and 62 per cent of popular vote.

1976: Lougheed creates Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund as a nest egg for future generations. It is funded by a portion of royalties deposited into long-term investments.

1978: Syncrude Canada oilsands project completed with provincial financial support. Tories also establish Alberta Oilsands Technology and Research Authority to develop technology for non-conventional oil production.

1979: Although their popular vote dips to 57 per cent, Tories win third election with 74 of 79 seats.

1980: A $300-million endowment establishes the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

1980: Lougheed's battles with Ottawa over control of energy resources culminate with Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's national energy program that unilaterally sets prices and taxes for the province's oil. Albertans are outraged. Lougheed vows to go to court. He goes on TV to say province will cut its oil production to 85 per cent of capacity. Bumper stickers appear saying: "Let the eastern bastards freeze in the dark!"

1981: Lougheed and Trudeau reach an energy pricing agreement that ensures the federal government negotiates oil and natural gas prices with Alberta.

1982: Supreme Court of Canada rules Ottawa can't legally tax provincially owned oil and gas wells. Federal Energy Minister Marc Lalonde amends the national energy program.

1982: Lougheed works to, in his words, "defend the provinces against ... steamroller tactics" during talks to patriate the Constitution. He is most against an amending formula he feels gives too much power to Ontario and Quebec. It is eventually changed to give no province a veto, but which allows provinces to opt out of amendments that would reduce their powers.

1982: Lougheed's Tories win their fourth straight majority with 75 of 79 seats and 62 per cent of popular vote.

1985: "The Canadian Encyclopedia" is launched to celebrate Alberta's 75th anniversary. Lougheed's government funds its research and donates a copy to every school and library in Canada.

1985: Resigns as premier effective Nov. 1.

1986: Steps down as the legislature member for Calgary West on Feb. 28. Named a companion of the Order of Canada.

1989: Named to the Alberta Order of Excellence.

2012: Institute for Research on Public Policy names Lougheed the best Canadian premier in the last 40 years. L. Ian MacDonald, editor in chief of the institute's magazine Policy Options, says: "It wasn't even close. It was like watching Secretariat win the Belmont by 31 lengths."

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