Merv Leitch

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Clarence Mervin "Merv" Leitch
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
Preceded by New district
Succeeded by David Carter
Constituency Calgary-Egmont
Attorney General
In office
September 10, 1971 – March 1975
Preceded by Edgar Gerhart
Succeeded by James Foster
Provincial Treasurer
In office
March 1975 – March 1979
Preceded by Gordon Miniely
Succeeded by Lou Hyndman
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
In office
March 1979 – November 1982
Preceded by Don Getty
Succeeded by John Zaozirny
Personal details
Born January 13, 1926
Creelman, Saskatchewan
Died June 30, 1990 (aged 64)
Political party Progressive Conservative
Occupation politician, lawyer

Clarence Mervin "Merv" Leitch (January 13, 1926 – June 30, 1990) is a former lawyer and provincial level politician from Alberta, Canada. He served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1971 to 1982 sitting with the governing Progressive Conservative caucus. During his time in office he served numerous cabinet portfolios in the government of Peter Lougheed.

Early life[edit]

Leitch was an active and high profile lawyer. He served as President of the Calgary Bar Association and as a Partner in the Macleod Dixon Law Firm and on the Board of the Canadian Institute of Resources Law and was a director on several corporations.[1]

He left his legal practice to pursue a political career.

Political career[edit]

Leitch ran for a seat to the Alberta Legislature in the 1971 Alberta general election. He won a hotly contested race in the new electoral district of Calgary-Egmont to pick up the seat for the Progressive Conservative party who would form government that election. He defeated Social Credit candidate Pat O'Byrne by over 1,000 votes to win the district.[2]

After the election Premier Peter Lougheed appointed Leitch to the Executive Council of Alberta. He served as the Attorney General in the first Progressive Conservative government cabinet. At Premier Lougheed's request, he prepared the first piece of legislation for the Progressive Conservative government in 1972 Bill 1 the Alberta Bill of Rights, which was introduced by Premier Lougheed.[3] He ran for his second term in office in the 1975 Alberta general election, this time with ministerial advantage. He was returned with a landslide winning over 10,000 votes while the opposition votes collapsed.[4]

Premier Lougheed promoted Leitch to the Provincial Treasurer portfolio in 1975. He held that portfolio while running for his third term in office in the 1979 Alberta general election. He would drop a significant share of his popular vote but still win his district with a landslide. The opposition candidates failed to make any gains.[5] Leitch was appointed to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources portfolio and held that until he retired from provincial politics at dissolution of the legislature in 1982.

Late life[edit]

Leitch died at the end of June 1990.[6] With the support and direction of former Premier Peter Lougheed and other friends, The University of Calgary created a lecture series, now the Merv Leitch Q.C. Memorial Visiting Chair, in his honor. Every year a new person is designated as a visiting chair in the University of Calgary Faculty of Law to give lectures in his honor; the lecture is also given at his alma mater, the University of Alberta. These have been chiefly within the fields of natural resource and constitutional law.[1] Annual scholarships for law students in their second and third years at each of the Universities of Calgary and Alberta is also awarded in his honor.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Merv Leitch Q.C. Memorial Visiting Chair". University of Calgary. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Calgary-Egmont results 1971". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ Peter Lougheed. "Why a Notwithstanding Clause?". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Calgary-Egmont results 1975". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Calgary-Egmont results 1979". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ |chapter-url= missing title (help) (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. July 4, 1990. p. 2369. 
  7. ^ "Merv Leitch, Q.C. Scholarship". Adventures in Education. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 

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