January 18th, 2020

Politicians past and present arrive for John Crosbie funeral in St. John’s

By The Canadian Press on January 16, 2020.

Members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stand guard as the ashes of John Crosbie lay in state in the House of Assembly in St. John’s on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Past and present politicians and other dignitaries have begun arriving at the state funeral for former federal cabinet minister John Crosbie.

Crosbie, who also served as Newfoundland and Labrador lieutenant-governor, has been remembered for his sharp wit and for his devotion to his home province since his death Friday at age 88.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is to deliver a eulogy for his former Progressive Conservative colleague, whom he praised as “one of the giants of our generation” in a statement after Crosbie’s death.

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who after Crosbie’s death hailed him as “a true force of nature,” is also attending the service at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s, N.L.

During a lengthy political career that began on St. John’s city council, Crosbie held a number of federal cabinet portfolios, including finance, fisheries, justice and international trade.

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who served alongside Crosbie in the Mulroney cabinet, had fond words Thursday for his friend and former colleague.

“The country will never be the same, will it?” Charest said before entering the church. “We will miss him.”

Former premiers Paul Davis and Danny Williams stopped to recall an inspiring Newfoundland politician. Davis said he was wearing sealskin to honour Crosbie’s vocal support of the province’s seal harvesters.

The funeral follows a public visitation in the House of Assembly Tuesday and Wednesday that drew hundreds of people.

Newfoundlanders in attendance fondly recalled a politician who cared about his constituents, made neighbourly connections and defended their interests.

Friends and colleagues highlighted Crosbie’s support for fundraising initiatives and his role in building the oil and gas industry in the province.

Crosbie is survived by his wife Jane and children Michael, Beth and Ches, who is leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Progressive Conservative party.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.

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