THE CLARIFIED VERSION IS AUTHENTIC
Mr. Speaker, last week Canada lost the only sovereign most of us have ever known.
It is important to use these moments here in Parliament and across the country to recognize the service and leadership she has given us.
When a person lives to be 96, their death should come as no surprise. And yet his sudden absence has shaken us all to the core.
His Majesty accompanied us everywhere.
His face was on our coins.
His portrait was exhibited in Parliament and in our post offices.
His Christmas greetings were televised and have been a heartwarming tradition for us from coast to coast.
For many of us, the Queen was so important.
She showed a reassuring humility and compassion.
I have been fortunate to have known Her Majesty my entire life.
I first met her in 1977 when I was a little boy.
When I saw her again 40 years later, in 2015, when I had become Prime Minister, I jokingly told her that when we last met, she was taller than me. .
She jokingly replied that she suddenly felt old.
His sense of humor was one of his many great qualities.
And one of the reasons she was one of my favorite people in the world.
She treasured her role as Queen of Canada – our Queen, our Head of State.
His conversations with me were always open.
We talked about everything and nothing.
She gave excellent advice on various subjects.
She was always curious, interested and kind.
Canadians will always be indebted to him for his advice.
Somehow everyone knew her.
Canadians feel like they’ve lost a family member – a family member who grew up with them.
She was only nine years old when she performed perhaps her first official duty on behalf of Canada – to appear on a postage stamp.
It was 1935.
Her Majesty was there on important anniversaries – like when she cut Canada’s centenary cake on Parliament Hill in 1967.
Our country came of age under his rule.
It was Her Majesty who announced and signed it Constitutional Act 1982 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
These foundations of our democracy contribute to the stability of our country and to our freedom.
Her Majesty felt at home in Canada.
She came to Canada more times than any other country.
In her own words a few years ago: “Whether it’s watching a chariot race at the Calgary Stampede or observing the athletic prowess of the Montreal Olympics, whether it’s hearing an Inuit welcome song to Nunavut or the sound Hearing the bagpipes in Nova Scotia has always made me feel not only welcome but at home in Canada.”
The Queen had a deep appreciation for our culture.
In 1964 she said she was glad to know that there was a place in our Commonwealth where she would be expected to speak French officially.
It’s a language she really liked and spoke impeccably.
Mr. Speaker, people have used different words to describe the qualities that make up Her Majesty’s legacy.
Words like: “duty”, “service”, “devotion” and “stability”.
Each of these words highlights slightly different aspects of what she gave us.
When we think of the word “duty,” we think of how the queen embodied the crown above all else.
Her last public gesture, which was constitutional in nature, was to ask the UK’s new Prime Minister to form a government.
And she made her final public statement to express condolences to the survivors and families of the victims of the Saskatchewan tragedy.
When we think of the word “service,” we remember that then-Princess Elizabeth donned the uniform in 1945 and joined the efforts of allies—including those of more than a million Canadians—during World War II.
When we think of her “devotion,” we recall images and stories of Her Majesty as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Our thoughts are with her devoted family who mourn her loss with great grace and love.
But above all, when we think of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we think of the stability she has brought to us.
His reign of 70 years is unmatched. Last June we celebrated the first-ever platinum anniversary of a Canadian sovereign.
During his reign, Canada enjoyed exceptional peace and prosperity.
As Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent said, addressing this House in 1952 after the death of his father, King George: “We have in our Commonwealth nations a system of government as free as any on earth.
Mr President, the world is in a difficult situation today.
We have all been rocked by an unprecedented global pandemic.
President Putin’s brutal and unjustifiable war threatens global stability.
And around the world, democratic institutions are being challenged.
But Canadians can be proud to live in one of the strongest democracies in the world.
Our institutions are healthy.
Our debates are dynamic.
And despite the diversity of beliefs, backgrounds and perspectives of Canadians – and mostly because of them – we enjoy an enviable stability and resilience.
Canadians have always benefited from this strength and stability, represented by the Crown and embodied by the Queen.
And as parliamentarians and Canadians, we devote ourselves to these democratic principles every day.
Each and every one of us sitting here in this house has chosen to serve our community and our country.
We know very well that the challenges we face as holders of public offices are temporary.
But for Her Majesty, public service was her whole life, right up to her last moments.
She was driven by an unwavering and enduring commitment to serve others and build a better world and future.
All of us gathered here know that service requires sacrifice. And the queen made these sacrifices with grace.
His generosity and dedication are exemplary. They remind us of the importance of the duties we carry out every day as Members of this House. They motivate us to move forward.
In our constitutional monarchy, the function of the crown in our government is to be the basis of our constitution and to transcend day-to-day political debates.
Our new king, His Majesty King Charles III, demonstrated his commitment to history on his most recent visit with a capital ‘H’ where he focused on the work it will take generations to achieve reconciliation and tackle climate change fight.
The stability of our key democratic institutions gives Canadians peace of mind and peace of mind. This allows us all to focus on the important issues.
Like caring for people, our economy, our communities and our planet.
Mr. Speaker, before I wrap up, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Royal Family on behalf of all Canadians.
This weekend I will travel to London with former Prime Ministers and Governors-General to attend Her Majesty’s State Funeral, which will take place on Monday.
On the same day, Canada will mark his death as a national day of mourning and hold a memorial ceremony.
I hope Canadians from coast to coast can take a moment next Monday to reflect on Her Majesty’s incomparable legacy and what best represents her.
Mr President, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II fulfilled her obligations and served her people until her death. She was there for all of us until her last moments.
She will be greatly missed.
But I know that our new Sovereign, His Majesty King Charles III, will uphold the same values we speak of today – and carry on his legacy.
Long live the king.
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