(Ottawa) Canada is “better today” thanks to Ed Broadbent, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was one of many political figures who paid tribute to the former leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) at his state funeral on Sunday in Ottawa.
Updated yesterday at 5:39 p.m.
Just before the ceremony began, a long line of mourners – many in dark colors but with a touch of orange – stretched outside the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Center.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Mr. Trudeau took a moment to highlight the legacy Mr. Broadbent left behind.
PHOTO PATRICK DOYLE, Portal
“Ed was an extraordinary Canadian who helped shape modern Canada. “He was a passionate man rooted in a desire for a better world for all and social justice, and Canada has become better because of his contributions in and out of politics,” the Prime Minister said.
For his part, current NDP leader Jagmeet Singh welcomed Mr. Broadbent's commitment when he was at the helm of the NDP.
“I met several family members, New Democratic Party activists and also people who were touched by Mr. Broadbent's life and contributions,” Mr. Singh said. Our commitment is to continue the fight for a better, more equal society and a society in which we care for each other. »
During the ceremony, Mr. Singh struggled to hold back tears as he recounted how Mr. Broadbent had served as a mentor to him in his early days as leader of the NDP.
PHOTO BLAIR GABLE, Portal
“He wanted me to do a lot more and a lot faster – that was very new democratic of him. And he wanted to make sure we never let the Liberals get away with it, which is also very new democratic for him,” Mr Singh said.
He added, holding back tears: “We will never forget him. And Ed, we won't let you down. You're still who I want to be when I grow up. »
Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew, a New Democrat, said in his own speech that Broadbent's departure could mark the end of an era in politics.
“Mr Broadbent's smiling and cheerful attitude is an example we should learn from today,” he said.
The funeral was also attended by Governor General Mary Simon, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations and former Ontario NDP Premier Bob Rae, British Columbia Premier David Eby and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
Mr Broadbent died on January 11, aged 87. He was an MP for more than two decades and led the NDP for 14 years in the 1970s and 1980s.
As leader of the NDP, he met four different prime ministers, including Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Brian Mulroney.
Throughout his career, Ed Broadbent received numerous awards, including several honorary doctorates. He also became a member of the King's Privy Council in 1982, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993, and was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 2001.
Flags at all government buildings across the country, including the Peace Tower, flew at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on Sunday.
State funerals are generally reserved for people who have served as governor general, prime minister or minister. Prominent Canadians can also hold a state funeral if the Prime Minister deems it appropriate.