Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper Pays Tribute to Jim Flaherty at State Funeral
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | April 17, 2014 6:27 PM EST
Former Finance Minister of Canada Jim Flaherty received the final goodbye from his family, friends and colleagues at St. James Cathedral in Toronto as they paid tribute to the deceased politician during a state funeral.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes communion during Canada's former finance minister Jim Flaherty's state funeral in Toronto, April 16, 2014.
Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper was among the people who paid tribute to Mr Flaherty. Other prominent people present at the funeral were controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird. Christine Elliott, the wife of Mr Flaherty, along with their triplets was present at the funeral as well.
Mr Harper gave an intense speech at the funeral. He said that he had never known that he would have to pay tribute to Mr Flaherty at his funeral only weeks after the veteran politician announced his retirement from politics. Mr Flaherty said that he had expected to enjoy "another life" ahead of the retirement. Mr Harper called the death of Mr Flaherty as a "traumatic event" for several people. He, on the other hand, clarified that Mr Flaherty's family was the one that suffered the most due to his death. Even though it was a loss of Canada politics, it was more a personal loss for the family; he said.
The Canada PM said that people had a "deep ocean of admiration and affection" for Mr Flaherty. He said that there were many ways Mr Flaherty could be described. Mr Harper called him a "ruthlessly pragmatic" man with high principles. Mr Flaherty was smart and educated while he never assumed that he "knew it all". Mr Flaherty was "hard-headed" but "soft-hearted." Mr Harper said. Mr Harper talked about the "quick and biting temper" that Mr Flaherty had. He also mentioned that Mr Flaherty had a "deep and gentle sense of humour." Mr Harper said that Mr Flaherty often joked on himself about his short height.
Mr Harper addressed Mr Flaherty's children and said that they were "the boys" no more. They are now "young men", he said. He asked them to stick to their father's lessons.
Mr Flaherty passed away on April 10, 2014 at 64 after suffering a heart attack in his Ottawa home.
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