Just a few days after the Governor General announced Alberta’s former premier would be given one of Canada’s highest honours, Ralph Klein’s wife accepted the Order of Canada on his behalf.

The ceremony to make Klein an Officer of the Order of Canada was held at Calgary’s city hall Tuesday morning.

In a press release last week, Gov.-Gen David Johnston said Klein has made “lasting contributions to the province of Alberta, and to public life in Canada.”

After a career in the media, Klein was elected mayor of Calgary in 1980, where he served three terms.

He was then elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in December, 1992 – and was sworn in as Alberta’s 12th premier more than a week later.

Klein then led his party to victory in three elections, in 1993, 1997 and 2001 – before leaving provincial politics in 2006.

In recent years, Klein has developed a form of dementia that affects his speech, and no longer makes public appearances.

As a result, Gov.-Gen David Johnston presented the award to Klein's wife Colleen - the ceremony is usually held in Ottawa.

Current Premier Alison Redford released a statement Tuesday, which read, in part:

“I join all Albertans in their love and admiration for Premier Klein on this special day.

“During his time in public service he made some very challenging decisions in order to grow our economy. He also created an endearing and enduring relationship with Albertans, who affectionately refer to him as Ralph.”

On Tuesday, Klein was also presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

With files from Kevin Armstrong