Prentice makes appearance at CP annual meeting, coy on leadership plans

Jim Prentice will resign his seat on the Canadian Pacific Railway’s board of directors if he’s successful in the Alberta Tory leadership race, CEO Hunter Harrison said following the company’s annual general meeting.

CALGARY — Jim Prentice will resign his seat on the Canadian Pacific Railway’s board of directors if he’s successful in the Alberta Tory leadership race, CEO Hunter Harrison said following the company’s annual general meeting.

Harrison told reporters there have been conversations about Prentice’s political ambitions.

“It’s no secret. He walks in the room and people say congratulations,” he said.

“We wish him all the success, but we hate to lose him from the board. But I think it’s my understanding that the plans are, if he officially decides to run, he has indicated to us that he would stay on the board until which time, hopefully, if he’s successful, then he would step down.”

Prentice himself divulged little about his plans when approached by reporters after the meeting.

“I continue to be a private citizen. I very much enjoy what I’m doing and, in terms of seeking elected office, I’ll have more to say about that in the days ahead,” he said.

“There are a lot of things happening, but … I’ll have a great deal more to say about that and a great deal more to say about the province.”

He was elected to serve another year on the board of Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) at the meeting.

Prentice is also a senior executive with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM) and has been working with Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) to try to win First Nations support for the company’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

He held high-profile federal cabinet posts, including Industry and Environment, under the Conservative government until late 2010, when he left for the private sector.

Although there has been no formal announcement, a source close to Prentice said earlier this week a team is being assembled for a leadership run.

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