Tuesday, January 29, 2008


So, we lost a good one last week:

Ex-Alberta NDP leader dies

EDMONTON - Pam Barrett was a firecracker of Alberta politics who fought for the little guy, never backed away from a scrap and became a respected opponent of her political foes.

The former leader of the Alberta New Democrats died in hospital Monday night after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 54.

I had the great priviledge of meeting Pam Barrett socially, at a party one evening, and she was a most impressive individual. Probably my favourite moment of her career was her forcing Ralph Klein to back away from legislation which would have prevented those mentally handicapped people who were sterilized without their consent or knowledge during the 1960s from suing for compensation. Barrett and the NDP backed the provincial Conservatives down despite being outnumbered, seat-wise, about 20-to-1 (she was actually pretty good friends with Klein, despite their political differences - I wonder what she would have done with Ed Stelmach?).

Pam Barrett will be missed!

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