Rod Love, long-time Alberta Tory strategist, dies

Rod Love, one of the key figures in Alberta politics in the last few decades, has died.

Love was Ralph Klein’s right-hand man from his time as Calgary’s mayor in the 1980s through his several terms as premier of Alberta, serving as his chief of staff.

Love’s family told CBC News he died peacefully Sunday night after a brief battle with cancer.

The long-time Tory insider later started his own consulting company. 

Pollster Janet Brown described Love as a “force of personality.”

“And he was so confident, and he was unblinking, that’s what I’ll remember about him,” she said. “He was really good at consulting with people, he was really good at considering a lot of ideas, but once a path was set, he didn’t blink,”

The political success stories Love and Klein etched into Alberta’s history are unmatched, said Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt.

“It’s hard to separate the strategist from the candidate. I mean Ralph Klein never ran for office without Love, Love didn’t have any success without Klein as a candidate,” he said. “They never lost an election as a team.”

Premier Jim Prentice sent out a statement expressing condolences on behalf of the province.

“I personally knew Rod to be a devoted and loving husband and father, and his family feels his loss the hardest. He was enormously proud of them,” he said.

“For the last few decades, it was impossible to have any interest in politics in this province and not know who Rod Love was and be aware of the impact he had on policy making and political strategy.”

Veteran Tory campaign manager Alan Hallman said Love helped Klein expand Alberta’s economy. 

“Rod and Ralph’s impact on Alberta politics will never be seen again,” he said.

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