Dear Friends of the Canada Institute, 

We have just lost a good friend. We mourn the passing of the Honourable Jim Prentice.  Jim was a Canada Institute Global Fellow who was in residence at our center from January to May of 2016 working on a book about Canada-US energy and climate policy. 

Jim was more than a visiting scholar.  He was a mentor to our young people, a guiding hand in our work, and a friend to us all.  We will miss him very much.

He contributed much in the service of others but had much left to offer. It is a loss for the Wilson Center family and we extend our deepest condolences to Karen and his girls.

When Jim arrived in Washington, most people here were surprised that he had such an illustrious political career in Canada. He was such a humble guy and connected with everyone from senior politicians to our students and junior staff. 

The work space we gave him was a cubicle in the library with a terrible draft over his desk.  He would come in every morning, take off his suit jacket and put on this big purple ski sweater to keep warm while he wrote for six or seven hours at a stretch. But, he never complained, never suggested that as a former minister of the Crown he should have walls, a door, and maybe some heat.  That’s the kind of guy he was.

While at the Wilson Center, he completed a book looking at future directions for the Canada-U.S. energy and environment relationship.  Having held federal cabinet posts in Industry, Environment, and Indian Affairs, as well as being Premier of Alberta, he had unique insights into these issues and I believe his experiences will provide a roadmap for future policy makers.

At the time of his passing, Jim was working with the Canada Institute on an energy and climate change research program. We hope to carry on with this work as a tribute to him. 

I have heard from many of our board members and friends today expressing dismay at the loss of this wonderful man. Thank you for reaching out. As a close friend of Jim’s said to me earlier, events like this remind us to go home and hug someone we love.


With sadness,

Laura Dawson and the Team at Canada Institute