Former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper will be among the members of a delegation travelling to the United Kingdom for next week’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced the details Thursday as the House of Commons resumed sitting ahead of schedule so members could pay tribute to the Queen, who died last week.
According to a statement from the PMO, former prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark will attend a national commemorative ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral in Ottawa, and all MPs have also been invited to attend that ceremony.
Others travelling to the United Kingdom for Monday’s funeral include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau as well as Governor-General Mary Simon and her spouse, Whit Fraser. Others in the delegation include Assembly of First Nations Chief RoseAnne Archibald, and three members of the Order of Canada: former competitive swimmer Mark Tewksbury, Quebec entertainer Gregory Charles and actress Sandra Oh.
Full details on the delegation are here.
Also Thursday, party leaders and MPs paid tribute to the Queen in a sitting held ahead of the scheduled return of the House on Sept. 20. It was the first time Pierre Poilievre has appeared in a Commons sitting as the new Leader of the federal Conservatives. However, it was not a day for politics, but rather for remembrance.
Among the tributes:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “I was extraordinarily fortunate to have known Her Majesty throughout my life. The first time I met her was in 1977 when I was just a little boy. When I would meet with her, as Prime Minister, almost four decades later in 2015, I joked that the last times we had met she had been taller than I. She responded with a quip about my making her feel old. Her sense of humour was one of her many great qualities and one of the many reasons why she was one of my favourite people in the world.’
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre: “On her visit to Canada in 1951, then Princess Elizabeth planted an oak sapling in Vancouver. Seventy-one years later, that sapling has grown into a mighty and stately oak whose canopy provides relief from the sun or, it being in Vancouver, perhaps more likely shelter from the rain. The oak tree has long been a royal symbol. It is a symbol of the British Constitution whose forms we inherited and whose conventions we follow in this House.”
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet: “It will also be understood that following the expressions of sympathy from the leaders here in the House and following the agreed minute of silence, the members of the Bloc Québécois will withdraw from this chamber, leaving the elected representatives of Canada to their demonstration. Subsequently, I will soon invite us all to a necessary reflection. In the meantime, our thoughts are with people grieving over the departure of a dominant figure of the last three-quarters of a century.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh: “In the days since her death, I have heard many Canadians talk about meeting her. She came to Canada often, as has been remarked, showing her affection for this country. Many who met the Queen, sometimes for the briefest of moments, feel she took the time to listen to them, was interested in their lives and sincere in her appreciation for the chance to meet them. This was her gift: to make one feel seen in a crowd of thousands and to invest her whole attention in every encounter, even when it was one of many.”
Mike Morrice, Green Party MP: “Reflections on the life of the late sovereign tend to centre on the word duty. It was the decision of her late uncle to reject the call of duty and follow the call of love that led her father, King George VI, to the throne. It was his untimely death in 1952 that threw a young woman, a newlywed at that, into a life of service and duty. The personal cost to her and her family can never be fully known, no matter how many Hollywood treatments her life inspires.”
Meanwhile, Canadians are being invited to line the streets of Ottawa on Monday to pay their respects as a memorial parade makes its way along a 2.2-kilometre route ending at Christ Church Cathedral, where a national commemorative ceremony for the late monarch will take place. Story here.
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BEIJING ENVOY HEADED FOR TAIWAN – The federal government is sending its acting envoy in Beijing to take on the unofficial role of Ottawa’s ambassador to Taiwan amid China’s escalating military threats against the self-governed island, three sources say. Story here.
POILIEVRE MOVING INTO STORNOWAY – New federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre plans to move into Stornoway, the residence provided for the head of the Official Opposition. NDP MP Charlie Angus, who has previously visited Stornoway, said Mr. Poilievre’s plans to move into the residence suggested that his comments on affordability challenges facing Canadians may have been politically expedient, but not heartfelt. Story here.
INFLATION RELIEF PRAISED – The federal government’s newly announced inflation relief for lower-income Canadians through the GST rebate stacks up as a better policy than some of the cash payments issued by provinces, economists say. Story here.
SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE TOUTS COURT INDEPENDENCE – Chief Justice Richard Wagner stressed the independence of the Supreme Court of Canada and the court’s value to all Canadians as its nine judges fielded questions from an audience of about 200 who filled an auditorium at Quebec City’s Museum of Civilization and overflowed into the foyer on Wednesday. Story here.
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT URGED TO INVESTIGATE FLIGHT PS752 CASE – Lawyers representing families who lost loved ones in the destruction of Flight PS752 say they put forward a submission Wednesday calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate the case as a possible war crime or crime against humanity. Story here from CBC.
FIRST QUEBEC ELECTION DEBATE – The first of two French-language leaders’ debates set for the Quebec election campaign is set for Thursday night in Montreal Thursday night, and will be the first contest as party leader for four of the five participants. Story here from CBC.
THIS AND THAT
COMMONS SITS – The House of Commons sat Thursday so members could pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following her passing. There’s a link here to the projected order of business. After Thursday, the House sits again on Sept. 20.
NB EDUCATION MINISTER SLAMS POILIEVRE TREATMENT OF MEDIA – New Brunswick’s education minister, a Progressive Conservative who supported Jean Charest for the Conservative leadership, says, in a tweet here, that Pierre Poilievre’s attack on Global News journalist David Akin this week “is what I’d expect from Hungarian thug Orban, not the leader of a mainstream Canadian political party.”
GUILBEAULT IN OTTAWA – Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Ottawa, was scheduled to make an announcement to support the transition to a lower carbon economy.
After months of fighting the Russian invasion, Ukraine has gained significant ground in a province in the northeast of the country. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week that they have retaken more than 6,000 square kilometres in September. Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon speaking with a commander of a special forces unit integral in this counteroffensive, and he visited some of the places newly liberated from Russian control. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
Private meetings in the Ottawa region. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered remarks in the House of Commons as part of a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spoke in the House of Commons on the passing of the Queen.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Justin Trudeau, Google and Canada’s loophole-filled lobbying rules: “The Sidewalk story is a sorry episode with many levels of regret. The latest revelation shows that Canada’s lobbying rules are ineffective. It also reveals something, and not for the first time, about the Trudeau government’s instincts. Its opening move was to hide rather than to disclose, and to try to keep under wraps something that should have been made public. In this case, the secrecy was likely within the letter of a badly written law – within its letter, but far outside its spirit.”
David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on Liberals offering inflation relief for some, but at what cost for all: “In order to ease the pain of those hurt most by high inflation, Justin Trudeau has decided to extend the pain of everyone. At least, I assume it’s a conscious decision. I assume the federal government’s experts and advisers understand the economic implications of the $4.6-billion inflation-relief package that the Prime Minister unveiled this week. I assume he has been well briefed about the trade-off that this involves. Because what Mr. Trudeau has just announced amounts to a fiscal stimulus for an economy that needs no stimulation.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on whether Pierre Poilievre can finally make the Tories a contender in Quebec: “How will Mr. Poilievre fare in the province that has not elected a majority of Conservative MPs since 1988, and where Tory support has hovered in the mid-teens in recent elections? Not well, if Montreal-based media “gatekeepers” are to be believed. Mr. Poilievre’s promises to scrap Ottawa’s carbon tax (which does not apply in Quebec, since the province has its own cap-and-trade scheme) and repeal federal environmental assessment legislation adopted in 2019 has earned him a slew of negative coverage and derision on social media. As has his vow to smooth the way for pipelines through Quebec and a liquefied natural gas project in the Saguenay region that was rejected last year by both the federal and provincial governments.”
Tirana Hassan (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the UN needs to address China’s abuse of Uyghurs, without further delay: “After all, the violations in Xinjiang are still occurring. With its arsenal of blanket surveillance, artificial intelligence, mass incarceration, misinformation campaigns and diplomatic strong-arming, the Chinese government is laying a blueprint for harnessing its full power to stamp out an ethnic and religious identity. But the evidence is now in front of those who can do something about it – and they should.”