Former Alberta Alberta premier Peter Lougheed and his wife Jeanne Lougheed
Credits: QMI AGENCY
CALGARY -- The family of ailing ex-Alberta premier Peter Lougheed is overwhelmed by well-wishers, says a Calgarian speaking for them.
Since news of Lougheed's severe illness and latest stay in hospital, the amount of affection coming the Alberta icon's way has heartened the family, Jason Hatcher said.
"The family's really touched by it, it's touched them quite a bit," said Hatcher, a longtime friend of the Lougheeds.
"Anyone who's had a way of contacting any of the Lougheeds have been doing so."
Those sentiments, he said, have been expressed from far beyond Alberta.
Hatcher said the family has issued no news on any possible medical changes regarding the ex-premier, who held the post from 1971 to 1985.
He's currently in the hospital in northeast Calgary that bears his name.
Those who know him, such as his successor as premier, Don Getty, say Lougheed is gravely ill with heart problems and possibly pneumonia.
They say he's been in and out of hospital for several months.
Lougheed's been credited with modernizing Alberta's social legislation, creating the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, defending Alberta during the so-called energy wars with Ottawa and launching a political dynasty.
Last June, a political think-tank named him the best Canadian premier over the past four decades.