Never in Jean-Sébastien Rioux’s dreams did he think he’d be the one promoting Triple Crown: Winning Canada’s Energy Future. The book, written by the late Jim Prentice, is now for sale.
Rioux, who was Prentice’s chief of staff when he was an MP in Ottawa, was the former Alberta premier’s collaborator on the book.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Rioux said.
Last October, Prentice and three others were killed when their plane crashed near Kelowna, B.C.
The day before the tragic accident, the two sat in Prentice’s Calgary home reviewing some of the final edits of the book. They had begun writing it two-and-a-half years ago.
“When we said goodbye, I wished him a great trip to B.C. ‘Have a great golf game,’” Rioux said.
Despite their immense grief, Prentice’s family pushed to have the book published.
Very few edits were made. “As authentic as possible and so that readers who pick it up have full confidence that these are Jim’s words.”
In the book, Prentice makes the argument Canada’s energy policy is inadequate despite approvals on pipelines and environmental leadership.
The former federal industry minister felt the country is not a leader in the world.
“This is a book about our energy potential. What we should be doing about the environment? And about reconciling with First Nations.”
Former politician and talk show host Danielle Smith believes it’s the message Prentice would have continued delivering.
“We’ve been going around apologizing for who we are, what we produce, and I think his book is a real call to action, saying we can be proud of what we do,” she said.
Grand Chief Stuart Phillip met with Prentice on a number of occasions. “I found him to be a very sincere individual.”
The leader of The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said he doesn’t necessarily agree with one of the arguments Prentice makes about making indigenous groups more equal partners in energy projects.
“The focus is on economic and monetary issues,” Phillip said. “That’s why industry and government fail to connect with indigenous peoples.”
It’s a debate that will continue, but one Prentice will have a voice in – posthumously – as Canada finds its path forward.
“He couldn’t wait for this book to be published because it was a culmination of his ideas and his philosophy.”