The former Alberta premier was among 70 Canadians named to the order on Friday.
In a statement released Saturday, his wife, Colleen, says the family is honored and grateful for their recognition of her husband’s 26 years in public office in Calgary and Alberta:
“His three strong mandates as Mayor of Calgary, his three years of service as Alberta Minister of Environment, and his four majority governments spanning 14 years as Premier of Alberta are a testament to both the ideas he put forward, and his extraordinary connection with the people of Alberta.
“… Members of the family visited with Ralph earlier this week and informed him that he was to be awarded the Order of Canada. While words are difficult, his face brightened, and he smiled. Ralph is ailing now, but will always remain strong and vibrant in the hearts and minds of Albertans, and all who believe in public service and what it can achieve when offered inspiring leadership.”