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Legal lion Jim Palmer's roots go deep in Calgary Add to ...

I’m trying to decide about that book – I guess I have to read it, because it’s Peter. But it makes me mad; it shouldn’t have happened. The group that was advising Pierre Trudeau found they could win by just looking after Ontario and the East, and forgot about the West. And [that attitude]continued and got worse. Does it all mean the death of Liberal Canada? No, no. But we’ve got to get younger people. I think there is still time for the party.

Is political life different now in the West?

In PEI, politics was always such a huge thing, but here in Alberta, it did not mean as much. There was always this attitude that: ‘We just keep earning the money and sending it east.’ But the new [Calgary]Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, has signalled a change [in political engagement] I watched the CBC National one night after his election and someone said Calgary has always been a white, Anglo-Saxon place. But it hasn’t been that way for 20 years. People get this fixed idea of a place.

And besides, the culture is so good here – we have a very good symphony, we have opera, and a lot of theatre. Cold at night, though.


Chairman, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP, Calgary


Charlottetown, 1928


Law degree, Dalhousie University, Halifax

Bachelor of arts, McGill, Montreal

Career highlights

Associate, Petrie & Petrie, Calgary, 1953-54

Solicitor for Texaco Exploration, 1954-55

Joined Burnet, Duckworth as associate, 1955-56

Partner, 1956 to present

Chairman, 1990 to present

Community work

Chancellor of the University of Calgary, 1986-90

Former president and director, Calgary Philharmonic Society

Major backer of new School of Public Policy, U of C

Established James and Barbara Palmer Chair in law and public policy, 2004

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