Jim Prentice is 47 years old. He was raised in a large, hardworking family in northern Ontario and Alberta.
He attended the University of Toronto and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta in 1977, and graduated with a Bachelor of law degree from Dalhousie University in 1980.
Jim is married to Karen, an executive Vice-President at a major energy company in Calgary. They have three daughters, Christina, Cassia and Kate. Jim and Karen have lived in the riding of Calgary North Centre for over 20 years, and it is where they have raised their family.
As a businessman, Jim owned and operated weekly newspapers and is currently part owner of several retail businesses. He is also involved in real estate developments, commercial developments and highway-commercial lands.
As a lawyer, Jim specializes in property rights litigation and has handled a number of high profile cases involving environmental protection suits, as well as public land acquisitions and relocations. He also served as a Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission of Canada for 10 years and is recognized as an expert in land claims negotiations.
Jim has been active as a citizen, in his church, in community activities and in his profession. He has volunteered as an advocate for learning disabled kids.
Jim became involved in conservative politics in 1976. He served as National Treasurer from 1991 to 1995, during some of the party’s most challenging financial days.
After Preston Manning retired, Jim ran for the PC nomination in Calgary Southwest. He won the nomination, but stepped aside to allow the than newly elected Alliance Leader Stephen Harper gain entry to Parliament. “It was a very difficult decision,” says Jim, “and very disappointing to me and many supporters. But I believe we needed to turn down the temperature between our two parties, and I believe my decision helped do that.”
Jim ran for the leadership of the PC Party of Canada in 2003 and placed a close second to Peter MacKay. During that campaign, he put the question of greater cooperation between the PC and CA parties onto the campaign agenda, saying that no one had ever defeated the Liberals with a divided conservative family. Consistent with that, he strongly supported the merger that was approved by both parties in December.
On March 13, 2004, Jim Prentice was elected as the Conservative candidate for the new riding of Calgary North Centre. “I am so honoured to have the chance to seek support from my friends and neighbours in Calgary North Centre to be their strong Conservative voice in Ottawa”.