Trudeau and Mulroney go to the funeral of John Crosbie, Newfoundland

Trudeau et Mulroney se rendent aux funérailles de John Crosbie à Terre-Neuve

Justin Trudeau and Brian Mulroney were present, such as many politicians, at the funeral of the former prime minister of Newfoundland, John Crosbie.

16 January 2020 18h23


Trudeau and Mulroney go to the funeral of John Crosbie, Newfoundland

Holly McKenzie-Sutter

The canadian Press


SAINT-JEAN, T.-N.-L. — politicians from all backgrounds and of all ages have paid tribute to John Crosbie, on Thursday, during his State funeral in the anglican cathedral of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Saint-Jean, in the province adored Newfoundland and Labrador.

The former federal minister and ex-lieutenant-governor, known for his outspokenness and his steadfast defense of the interests of his province, died last Friday at the age of 88 years.

It is the ex-prime minister Brian Mulroney, who has delivered, sometimes with humor, the eulogy of his former colleague from the progressive conservative Party, whom he described last week as “one of the giants of our generation”.

“And therefore we say goodbye today to the honourable John Crosbie – a patriot, a minister, experienced, committed partner to his beloved Jane,” said Mr. Mulroney. The ex-prime minister remembered Mr. Crosbie as “a proud Canadian who has served his country with great distinction, integrity, without blemish, and successes unprecedented.”

Mr. Mulroney was part of a large group of politicians, past and present, of Newfoundland and elsewhere, who came to pay a last tribute to one who had also been lieutenant-governor of his province. The prime minister Justin Trudeau, who had praised Mr. Crosbie as “a true force of nature” last week, attended the service, as well as the ex-conservative prime minister Joe Clark and former premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Trudeau has not spoken to journalists on Thursday.

The former liberal prime minister of Quebec Jean Charest, who has been minister to the sides of Mr. Crosbie in the cabinet, progressive conservative Brian Mulroney, had tender words for his friend and former colleague. “The country will never be the same, isn’t it?” he said before entering the cathedral. “We will miss it.”

Former prime ministers conservatives of Newfoundland and Labrador Paul Davis and Danny Williams stopped for a few moments on the square to pay tribute to a politician who inspired them. Mr. Davis pointed out that he wore the skin of seal to honor the strong support of Mr. Crosbie hunters on seals of the province.

Combative but human

The former prime minister – liberal – Newfoundland-and-Labrador, Brian Tobin, was also a coat of seal skin with the funeral, in memory of the work of Mr. Crosbie to erect a monument to the hunters of seals dead on the sea ice. Mr. Tobin recalled the “personality conflict,” Mr. Crosbie, but also his humanity and his great meekness, “which destroyed the image of the newfoundland flying that everyone saw”.

Comedian Rick Mercer has remembered segments filmed with Mr. Crosbie, who stood out according to him from other politicians. “It was like having to deal with another comedian, told the broadcaster satirical, who was born in Newfoundland and Labrador. “He had a sense of the “timing” is impeccable. He was prepared, he knew what he wanted to do and so, it was always very pleasant.”

John Crosbie, who would have been 89 years old on January 30, was first in municipal politics and provincial in Newfoundland and Labrador for several years. He later held important portfolios within progressive governments-federal conservatives led by Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. He was minister of Finance in 1979 and 1980, and then successively minister of Justice, Transport, international Trade, and Fisheries.

The flags were at half-mast in front of the Confederation building in St. John since the announcement of his death. The urn containing the ashes of Mr Crosbie had been on display in the chapel ardente of the legislative Assembly on Tuesday and Wednesday. The hundreds of visitors was remembered with emotion a politician who cared about his constituents, was of the links of neighbourhood and defending their interests. Friends and colleagues have pointed to the support of Mr. Crosbie to fundraising initiatives and its role in the development of the oil and gas industry of the province.

Mr. Crosbie is survived by his wife Jane and his children Michael, Beth and Chips. The latter is the leader of the progressive conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. He said Thursday that to his father, “the policy was a call to serve”. He cited in particular the promotion of free trade and the exploitation of the oil deposit offshore Hibernia as the cornerstones of the economic development of the province.

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