House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was majesty.


Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:05 p.m.


Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Madam Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to reflect, on my part and on behalf of the constituents of Wellington—Halton Hills, on the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

While Queen Elizabeth was our queen and our head of state, she was also a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. My thoughts are with King Charles and with the royal family.

During my time as a member of Parliament, I have been asked, “Who is the most important person you have ever met during your travels?” My response has always been, “The Queen.” She was a model of unflagging dedication to public service. At 21, she said, “My whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.” She spent her whole life fulfilling that commitment.

During the Second World War and before she became queen, like a million Canadians, she served in the armed forces and trained as a mechanic.

The Queen's reign began on February 6, 1952. At that time, Louis St-Laurent was prime minister. Since then, she has worked with 12 Canadian prime ministers, and she has witnessed and overseen nation-building transformations of our country.

For seven decades, she did everything Canada asked of her without crisis or controversy. The Supreme Court became firmly established as the final court of appeal in Canada during her reign, ending the final appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

On February 15, 1965, she issued the royal proclamation that established the iconic red and white maple leaf as our national flag.

In 1982, she came to this place, Parliament Hill, to sign the royal proclamation that repatriated our Constitution from the United Kingdom and reaffirmed our constitutional monarchy here in Canada.

Queen Elizabeth was the only monarch I have ever known. She is the only monarch my wife Carrie and our children have ever known. She is the only monarch that most Canadians have ever known. She has been part of our lives over so many decades, in so many ways.

When my father was a young man in Hong Kong, Queen Elizabeth was his queen. When he immigrated to Canada in 1952, Queen Elizabeth remained his queen.

When I was a young boy, my cousins in Hong Kong and I used to exchange letters to keep up to date on what was going on in the family. We would write to each other, and on the letter mail we sent back and forth was a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. In one direction it said “Canada” and in the other direction it said “Hong Kong”. These stamps made me realize as a young boy that what bound us together between Canada and Hong Kong was not just family ties, but also institutions based on freedoms, liberties and the rule of law. Today, millions of Hong Kongers remember Queen Elizabeth fondly, not just as a person but as an institution that represented freedoms and liberties that are now sadly being taken away.

I remember as a young boy watching the patriation ceremony of 1982 here on Parliament Hill, where the Queen signed the royal proclamation that patriated our Constitution and established the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I also have fond memories of going to primary school in rural Ontario in the 1970s, when every single morning we would sing O Canada and God Save the Queen.

For some, the Queen's passing has been an emotional time. My wife Carrie's Auntie Pam shared this memory with us on the Queen's passing, and asked us to share it with others.

“On Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, on June 24, 1959, my dad, myself and a few friends were on the roof of my apartment building overlooking Westmount City Hall, where the Queen and Prince Philip were being presented with a jug of maple syrup. My father shouted to his friends to hurry up to the front of the building, and the royal couple heard him, looked up, smiled and waved. It made his day.

“The following day dad wanted to drive us to see the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Queen and Duke coming ashore. It was quite a long drive and en route a car door was opened in front of us and Dad had to swerve suddenly. On arrival at the ship, we walked a relatively short distance, and we were very close to the gangway. He suddenly collapsed and died instantly, and our lives changed dramatically.

“The Queen and Prince Philip had to delay disembarking from the yacht while an ambulance took Dad away. I've always wondered what the Queen was told about the delay in disembarking from the Royal Yacht Britannia.”

The Queen, our longest reigning monarch, reigned so long that her reign stretched across generations and across time. One could walk into a Royal Canadian Legion branch, a small branch in some small community in rural Canada, and see a portrait of a very young woman, about 25 years of age, and suddenly realize that it is the Queen, and realize that someone had carefully hung and preserved that portrait some 70 years ago on the wall of that legion.

Many Canadian families have cookie tins, passed along from generation to generation, of the coronation that took place in 1952. They are brought out at Christmastime and filled with the recipes that have been passed from family generation to family generation.

Carrie and I had the privilege of meeting Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip in 2010 during one of the more than 20 times she came to Canada. It was at a state dinner at the Royal York Hotel, where hundreds of guests were in attendance. She greeted every one of those guests, patiently greeting them in a waiting line. After dinner was completed, she met with the hotel workers who had served the dinner and cleaned the rooms, something she insisted on doing.

Let me finish by saying that we shall not see the likes of Queen Elizabeth again. We mourn her passing. May she rest in peace and may she rise in glory.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:10 p.m.

Saint Boniface—Saint Vital Manitoba


Dan Vandal LiberalMinister of Northern Affairs

Madam Speaker, I want to begin by paying my respects to the victims of the recent horrible tragedy in Saskatchewan and to their families.

I would also like to acknowledge that Canada's Parliament is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin people.

We are here today to pay our respects to and commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth II. In a world that changes and evolves at such a rapid pace, the Queen represented stability, service and a quiet grace. She embodied duty and commitment to one's country.

I would like to offer my condolences to the royal family and King Charles III. They have lost not only a Queen but a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We know they are grieving that loss, and our hearts go out to all of them.

Canadians have been expressing their sorrow and sharing their admiration for the Queen since they learned of her death. Many people recall the time she visited their community or the time they shook her hand. Not all Canadians have had the same experience with the Crown, however. Some, in particular indigenous peoples, have much more mixed feelings.

Many felt a personal connection to the Queen, as she was a kind, thoughtful and compassionate individual. However, the idea of a sovereign of Canada is a complex one for indigenous peoples, who had lived on this land long before Europeans arrived.

The relationship between the Crown, Inuit, first nations and Métis is complex, continually evolving and personal, so I want to take a moment to acknowledge that some people’s reactions will be different, and that is entirely okay. That is what Canada is all about: being able to have different opinions, speaking about them in a respectful way and speaking about them in a thoughtful way.

For many indigenous peoples, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had a special and personal role in Crown and indigenous relationships. Today we are here to recognize her extraordinary lifetime of service, and I will speak about Her Majesty’s affinity for northern Canada and, of course, her visits to Winnipeg and other areas of Manitoba.

The Queen has long shown love and respect for Canada. Queen Elizabeth II travelled on 23 royal tours of Canada and made a huge impact wherever she went, drawing crowds and touching hearts.

Over the years, she made four trips to the beautiful northern and Arctic parts of our country, the first being to Yukon in 1959. That was quite a trip, indeed. It was 2,600 kilometres of travel over 45 days. During that time, she visited 90 towns and hamlets.

During that first trip, a famous Inuit carver, Osuitok Ipeelee, carved a beautiful stone image of the Queen. He had based the carving on a photograph from her coronation in 1952. However, in the photograph, her shoes were covered by her gown, so Mr. Ipeelee carved the Queen in her bare feet and presented it to Prince Philip.

The Queen once again visited the Arctic in 1970, which included a stop all the way in Resolute in the High Arctic, as well as visits to Yellowknife and Iqaluit. For the duration of the trip, she had the future king, King Charles, alongside her.

She visited Yellowknife again in 1994, where she dedicated the new Northwest Territories legislative assembly building. She then made her way to Nunavut, drawing crowds in Rankin Inlet, and attended celebrations to mark the upcoming creation of the territory, where she watched performances by Inuit and Dene artists.

During her visit to Iqaluit in 2002, she was given a bouquet of Arctic flowers with Arctic cotton. It being her third time in Nunavut, she made the effort to thank people in Inuktitut and tried her best to give the right pronunciation, which many people appreciated.

Much like the people in the north, Manitobans have good memories of Queen Elizabeth II and her visits to our wonderful province and to my hometown of Winnipeg. The Queen visited Manitoba six times. In 1970 she, along with Prince Philip and their two children, the future King Charles III and Princess Anne, visited 16 towns in Manitoba in celebration of our province's 100th anniversary.

We will never forget that the Queen travelled to Saint‑Pierre‑Jolys in 1970 to speak to Franco-Manitobans. The Queen and Prince Philip returned to Manitoba in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee and to unveil the Golden Boy statue at the Manitoba legislature.

During the Queen's final visit to Manitoba, in 2010, she unveiled a cornerstone at the site of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights following her arrival with Prince Philip as the first official passengers at Winnipeg's new James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. That stone had been brought from the fields near Windsor Castle where the Magna Carta was signed. During that visit, she also crossed the magnificent Esplanade Riel to get to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The Queen passed on her virtues of service and responsibility to other members of her family and passed on her affinity for northern Canada, which is obvious, to King Charles. Our new King has been a strong advocate and an early voice in the effort to educate the public about the dangers and effects of climate change. His work on climate change has a special resonance in the north, as the region is disproportionately affected by changes to its climate.

During his visits to Canada, King Charles III has often spoken about climate change. In 2009, he spoke in Newfoundland saying that climate change was a “ all humanity”.

In 2017, in Nunavut, he pointed out that global warming was causing rapid and harmful changes to the Arctic way of life that has sustained the Inuit for so long.

The King has also shown an interest in Inuktitut and Inuit culture. In 2016, he invited a group of Inuit to Wales to study ways to standardize the writing of Inuktitut.

I like to think that the King's special interest in the north and his commitment to causes such as climate change are, at least in part, the product of his travels with the Queen during his youth.

We can all learn from the Queen's example, from her commitment to the common good, her devotion and her sense of responsibility.

Through political and social changes, through evolution in communications and technologies and through peace and conflict, Her Majesty the Queen served as a symbol of tradition and stability. She had a special love for Canada and she was loved in return. Each time she visited, she drew enormous crowds from coast to coast to coast.

In a rapidly changing world, one thing is for certain: There will never be another quite like Queen Elizabeth II.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:20 p.m.


Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, a woman, a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, who was also a Queen, has passed away. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a woman who embodied, in all her dignity and splendour, the durability of the state and duty done right. For 70 years, she inspired millions of people around the world, her subjects and people who were not British royalty, but who respected her greatly. She represented stability in a troubled world.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was not born a queen, however. It was a blip in history that elevated Elizabeth II to the highest throne of the British Empire, resulting in extraordinary ramifications for the whole of humanity. Even those with little knowledge of the hierarchy of the monarchy know that there were others in line for the throne before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her uncle, Edward VIII, acceded to the throne in 1936, but he abdicated less than a year later. In the end, it was good that he did, because this sovereign, unfortunately, was drawn in by the swastika. Once he stepped down, he was seen being welcomed into Nazi territory and was even received by the Führer in 1937.

Fortunately, that man, who believed in the politics of appeasement, abdicated and was no longer the sovereign when World War II swept over humanity. Fortunately, it was George VI, his brother and Elizabeth II's father, who was ruler then, with Winston Churchill's full support. As a result, despite the thunder of war and the horrors of the blitzkrieg, the whole of humanity resisted the Nazi order.

Let us talk about World War II because that is when Elizabeth II became the princess and, above all, a source of inspiration for her people. When war was declared, Elizabeth II, like millions of adults and millions of children, left her home and went to live in a rural area away from cities. Of course, they were not just ordinary people. They lived in a castle. Still, teenaged Elizabeth II remained in England, despite the Luftwaffe's relentless assaults and non-stop bombing campaign. She could have left the country, but she stayed along with her parents.

When she was 18 years old, she enlisted in the British army, like 200,000 of her compatriots. She could have stayed in her manor, in her palace, but she put on a uniform. She learned to be a mechanic, which is surprising, perhaps, but true. She served her country as soon as she was able, at the age of 18.

Members will recall the wonderful photographs depicting her father, mother, sister and her, in her uniform, when humanity triumphed on May 8, 1945. What many people do not know, however, is that right after this joyful announcement for all people, Elizabeth II put on her hat, pulled it down over her eyes, and went and joined the people. She wanted to experience this historic moment with the people she wished to represent and whose queen she would become just a few years later. That is what is called connecting with the people, despite the hierarchy and majesty that obviously bring with them privileges that very few people on this earth ever get to experience.

She became queen 70 years ago. I knew that she had visited Canada 22 times, but this morning I learned that Canada was the country that Elizabeth II visited the most. I was delighted to hear that. There is a reason why Canadians, whether we are monarchists or not, or whether we are pro-English or know no English, respected the woman that she was. All of my colleagues here are talking about when she visited their riding or province, how she visited the 10 provinces and three territories and how she took time to listen to people. That is to her credit. That is why people loved her so much.

She knew 12 prime ministers, from the current Prime Minister to the Right Hon. Louis St. Laurent, my riding's namesake. I would actually like to acknowledge the people of Louis‑Saint‑Laurent, thanks to whom I am still here today.

To my knowledge, the only time a sovereign delivered the Speech from the Throne was in 1957. Generally her representative here takes care of that. It could not have worked out better, because the prime minister in office at the time, the Right Hon. John George Diefenbaker, may have been the biggest monarchist of any prime minister of Canada.

I did not know Mr. Diefenbaker. When he took his last breath, in 1979, he was a member of Parliament. Everyone tells me that he felt immense joy at the idea of welcoming Her Majesty to Canada's Parliament to read his government's Speech from the Throne.

I will give voice to some prime ministers because there are 12 who knew her and who saw Queen Elizabeth II's qualities first-hand. I chose three at random and the three have the same political stripe. It is a coincidence.

The Right Hon. Stephen Harper, who was the prime minister of Canada for nine years, said:

Over the decades Her Majesty travelled to every part of our blessed land. She loved Canada with all her heart and was truly one of us. Canadians returned her feelings with pride and very real affection. While Canada matured and prospered throughout the decades of her reign, the Queen was a vibrant symbol of continuity, stability and progress.

The Right Hon. Stephen Harper, former prime minister of Canada, made this statement about the death of Her Majesty.

I also listened closely to the statement that the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney made on TVA and LCN on two major issues, apartheid and the French fact in Canada, that were important to Her Majesty.

Former prime minister Mulroney said, “Time and again she showed her respect for the history of bilingualism in Canada...she spoke impeccable French, supported enhancing the vitality and strength of the French language and of Quebec's role on the world stage.... She had tremendous respect for the unique role of Quebeckers.”

Former prime minister Mulroney's contribution to the fight against apartheid is one of his longest-lasting and most effective achievements, and he acknowledged the Queen's involvement. He said, “I was leading the Commonwealth at that time and therefore saw her often. There was no doubt in my mind that she shared our goal of securing Nelson Mandela's release and the end of the apartheid regime, which we achieved after imposing brutal sanctions on South Africa. That's what she wanted....”

I also enjoyed watching a very nice interview he gave on CBC's Power & Politics.

The interview was with the honourable Charles Joseph Clark, the former prime minister of Canada, and his daughter Catherine. Mr. Clark said she was “a remarkable human being”, had “natural” skills for diplomacy and was the heart of the institution.

I will summarize some of what he said. Her position, by nature, was isolating, and yet Her Majesty Elizabeth II never isolated herself. On the contrary, she went out to meet the people. She treated everyone as her equal; everyone had the right to speak their mind and be heard. She was always well briefed. She had to learn a lot about complex global issues spanning such a long period of time, and she took that duty seriously.

Furthermore, during this wonderful interview, his daughter Catherine Clark said that “she was the ultimate boss lady”.

These three prime ministers, who knew Her Majesty the Queen personally, gave us a good idea of who she was.

In closing, the Queen loved Canadians and, as René Lévesque said, you cannot love the people if you do not love what the people love. Her Majesty the Queen was drawn to hockey and wanted to understand the sport. She did not always understand it, especially at her first game, but she was curious about it.

It was a wonderful sight to behold when she dropped the puck alongside the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, in Vancouver in 2002.

We had the Queen and the king of the hockey world on the ice at the same time.

Let us also recall that she was in attendance when the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers. It was October 29, 1951, and Her Majesty was then a princess, not yet Queen. The Montreal Gazette wrote an article called “Couple Watches Game, Crowd Watches Couple”. That is how people received her.

Today, as we commemorate the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, let us remember the sense of duty she embodied and demonstrated so masterfully.

King Charles III has been to Canada 19 times. I invite his Majesty to visit us a 20th time.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:30 p.m.


Leah Taylor Roy Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to our late Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Before I do so, I would first like to give my condolences to the families and members of the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, as they have just buried many of the dead and are suffering from the great tragedy that has beset them.

I rise on behalf of many of the constituents of Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill to pay tribute to the Queen and offer condolences to the royal family and King Charles III. I say “many” because not everyone feels the same way about the monarchy or the Queen. Many members in this House have already referred to that.

Our relationship with the monarchy is complex. There is a history of colonialism, and there are feelings from indigenous people and francophones that do not always align with the monarchy. However, there are many people, including me, who greatly admired the Queen and her life of service.

The Queen embodied many things. One of them, for me, was family. Family has always been so important to me and to many of my constituents, as well as to many Canadians. The Queen put family first. I believe her example in being a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother and in caring for her family above all was one set for all of us and one that we should all admire.

Although I did not have the opportunity to meet the Queen as many people in the House have, I feel like I did meet her through my family. My grandmother, Marie Ellen Taylor, was born in England. She went to school in Ireland and moved to Canada as a young woman. I could not help but notice all of the cookie tins, plates, china cups and photos of the Queen in her home. She was certainly proud of our Queen. She was proud as a Canadian, and she certainly shared that with all of us.

It was not just the Queen's dedication to family. It was also her great dedication to service. When we look at the over seven decades the Queen served, we see exemplary service. She, above all, wanted to connect with people. She was Queen of the Commonwealth, and as so many have already mentioned, she loved Canada and visited us often. I believe her connection to Canada was real and that she was not only connected to her subjects here from the past but that she grew and changed as Canada grew and changed. Her acceptance and desire to get to know so many parts of Canada and so many people was great.

There is a quote I want to read that made it clear that she believed in inclusivity and respected multiculturalism in Canada. She stated: is as Queen of Canada that I am here—Queen of Canada and of all Canadians, not just of one or two ancestral strains. I would like the crown to be seen as a symbol of national sovereignty, a link between Canadian citizens of every national origin and ancestry.

Later, the Queen would say, “This nation has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a sanctuary for others and an example to the world.” Her last message was to express solidarity and sympathy to the loved ones of those who tragically lost their lives on the James Smith Cree Nation reserve. She cared about our issues. She cared about our country.

I go back to her legacy of service and think about how she connected with people. She was the first queen to have a televised wedding. Of course, it was the first time television was available, but she also initiated walkabouts. Many members of this House have spoken of how many hands she shook, how many people she saw personally and all of the stories and memories written in the book of condolences. She definitely touched people. The importance of human connection and the recognition of individual dignity and the pursuit of good governance is one of Queen Elizabeth's legacies.

In a speech given to the United Nations in 2010, she stated, “I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”

It was this commitment to hope and unity that strikes a chord with so many who remember her lifetime of service, composure and personal strength, and offers a profound example for us as democratic representatives of the Canadian people.

I know that many will miss her. As a strong female presence in our world over a very long period, a period of change and tumultuous times, she always offered a vision of faith and hope. It is that faith and hope, I believe, that we still need as we move forward today.

I know I will miss her caring, stable presence in our world and that many will. Her absence is a loss for us all.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:40 p.m.


Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Madam Speaker, it is always a privilege to rise in this House, but today I and all of our colleagues do so with the heaviest of hearts. At around this moment last Thursday, it “pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second of Blessed and Glorious Memory”, to borrow the words of the first of many accession proclamations made last weekend.

In the week which has intervened, we have witnessed and, indeed, ourselves have felt the shock, grief and reflections that have been felt in every corner of the globe ever since. For me, some of my own reflections have been upon the genuine honour and privilege I have had to have been received in audience by Her Majesty on two occasions. First, as speaker of the House, I was there with my counterpart, Noël Kinsella, speaker of the Senate at the time, to present the addresses which both Houses of our Parliament had voted to present to Her Majesty, on the occasion of the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee and in 2013 following the birth of our future king, the current Prince George.

Since the House has adopted an address to our new King Charles III, the Speaker may find himself having an audience soon with His Majesty to present him with our Parliament's formal condolences. I am reminded of a personal anecdote of such an audience.

Before the Speaker meets the King, he will be presented with a briefing on protocol. We were all told what to do and what not to do. I asked the protocol officer how we would know when the meeting had ended. He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Oh, you will know.” Sure enough, at one point in the conversation when it was clear Her Majesty had exchanged enough pleasantries, out came a box with a button on it. She very gently pressed on it and moments later, the equerry came into the room and the meeting was over. I am sure there are many people throughout Canada who wish they had that kind of box when they are having meetings that they would like to get out of.

On both occasions when I had that privilege, I can say that Her Majesty's warmth and interest in Canadian matters remarkably shone through. Those various reports members might hear or read about Queen Elizabeth being incredibly well informed about Canadian and world matters certainly accord with my own personal experiences, yet her love of Canada was not just about being well briefed on the news. Canada was tangibly present in her life. She made 22 official visits as Queen and one as Princess Elizabeth, more here than any other country.

Her longest visit to Canada in 1959 covered 45 days and 24,000 kilometres. On that trip, she performed her official duties with equal parts grace and grit as she fought through morning sickness to complete her gruelling itinerary. Canada was very much her second home. On a royal tour in 1983 which included both the United States and Canada, as she prepared to fly from California to Vancouver, she told the press, “I am going home to Canada tomorrow.”

Some members may be aware that Her Majesty's favourite horse ever was Burmese, the first of the horses gifted by the RCMP, that was foaled in Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan. The Queen rode Burmese at every Trooping of the Colour for 18 consecutive years, from 1969 to 1988, and on many other occasions, like the time she was famously photographed riding with Ronald Reagan. When Burmese retired, the Queen never rode to the Trooping of the Colour again, preferring to travel by carriage. A statue of Queen Elizabeth riding Burmese can be found in Regina, the queen city, a city I proudly represent.

We know that the people of Saskatchewan were in her thoughts right up until the end. Her final public statement a little over a week ago was to the people of Saskatchewan, specifically of the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, to tell them that she was grieving with them and mourning their loss. The day before that, we all saw the news and photos of her appointing a new British prime minister, her 15th. That Her Majesty, in her mid-nineties, was working right up until literally her very last days is a testament to her understanding of the responsibilities to which she was called by fate.

When she was 21, she gave a radio address that has been replayed many times in recent days. In it she declared, “my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service”. She was a young woman then, barely out of childhood, thrust by her uncle's unexpected abdication into a lifetime of service. It was an awe-inspiring promise for such a young person to make with such conviction. She knew even at that young age that there would be no relaxing retirement for her, however well-earned it would have been. Her duties would end only in death, as indeed they did.

In her last official photo she is standing beside the fireplace at Balmoral, and she exudes warmth and wisdom, though she must have known the end of her service was only a few days away. She was duty personified to the very last. That devotion to service, which our late Queen typified for the near century she lived and which she witnessed her father demonstrate so remarkably especially during the Second World War, was all the more remarkable since neither of them was meant to be the monarch from birth. It is the same example our new sovereign, King Charles III, witnessed and felt first-hand. I am sure we can have every confidence that His Majesty will follow in their footsteps and the footsteps of their many illustrious predecessors of the past thousand years.

The memories, reflections, tributes and appreciation expressed this past week have vividly recalled for all of us the majesty and magic of our constitutional monarchy, the continuity it provides and the bedrock of stability it forms. Other countries may pledge allegiance to flags, which blow unpredictably with the political winds, but our allegiance is to the Canadian Crown, which connects us in a direct line to the historic source of our Constitution. It is a living tradition of order and liberty that is renewed with each generation.

The other day I was recalling how the role of the Crown in our parliamentary democracy reminded me of the so-called parable of Chesterton's fence. In his 1929 book, The Thing, G.K. Chesterton wrote of a fence that some reform-minded folks would tear down because they did not understand its purpose, while other more cautious types would first seek to understand the original purpose of the fence and whether it was satisfying those needs. Basically, the lesson is do not destroy what we do not understand.

I suspect after this week many more will truly understand the meaningful role of the Canadian monarchy, A Crown of Maples, and that will be yet one more legacy of Her Majesty's remarkable reign. There is no doubt the Crown has helped shape Canada, but we should not view the monarchy or the Crown as some kind of foreign institution. Canada and the Crown are intertwined, and Canada has had an impact on the Crown itself.

Our francophone colleagues from Quebec are familiar with the history of our people here in North America, and they know that certain events had a significant impact on the Crown.

For example, it was the Quebec Act that first gave religious liberties to Catholics, paving the way for religious tolerance throughout the entire British Empire. That innovation that was used here in North America to help bring two peoples together changed the way Catholics, and ultimately religious minorities, were treated throughout the entire globe. We can take credit here in Canada for that legacy, the change that we effected on our system of government, and through it, the entire world and the entire British Empire. It was the Quebec Act that first established the principle that one can be loyal to the sovereign while still practising whatever faith one chooses.

When someone serves so diligently for as long as Queen Elizabeth did, it is tempting to think that they will continue forever. Perhaps that is why, although her death was not unexpected, it still moves us so deeply. We have lost someone who was part of the backdrop of our lives for as long as most of us in this House can remember. Although she is gone, we will be reminded of her for years to come. We will probably encounter her unexpectedly, when we empty coins from our pockets or rummage for stamps at the back of a drawer and we suddenly see that familiar regal profile again. In those moments we will pause and smile as we remember the life of an extraordinary woman and an exemplary Queen.

God bless Queen Elizabeth, and God save the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:50 p.m.


James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Madam Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in this House. It is particularly so today, given the reason we are here. It is always a pleasure to speak when you are in the chair, I might add.

Last week, when the world learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I thought back in history to Winston Churchill, who was the prime minister upon her becoming queen and the prime minister when her late father passed away, King George VI. When the king died, Winston Churchill said that it “struck a deep and solemn note in our lives which, as it resounded far and wide, stilled the clatter and traffic of twentieth-century life in many lands, and made countless millions of human beings pause and look around them.” The same could be said about the passing of his daughter.

As we stop, pause and reflect on her 96 years of life, the world has seen so much change. In her life, she witnessed it all. In those extraordinary 96 years, in many circumstances, she was truly a trailblazer.

For starters, as we have heard, Her Majesty was a fully trained mechanic, having joined the women's Auxiliary Territorial Service and worked as a mechanic and a truck driver during the Second World War. As a member of the ATS, she was the first female of the royal family to be an active duty member of the British Armed Forces. Not surprisingly, she was also the last surviving head of state to have served during the Second World War.

In 1953, it was her coronation on June 2 that was the first such event to be televised to the tune of 27 million viewers around the world. On December 25, 1957, she made history with her decision to televise her Christmas message, 25 years after her grandfather, King George V, began the Christmas day tradition of a radio address.

Her Majesty modernized the way the royal family interacted with the public. It was during her visit to Australia in 1970 that the Queen set a precedent with a royal walkabout, shaking hands with the public rather than appearing at a distance. It is a tradition that continues today. In 2011, she made history again by being the first British monarch in 100 years to visit Ireland. Of course, she was the longest-serving British monarch in history. There were so many firsts.

Her Majesty was also an individual who embraced advances in technology. In 1969, the Queen expanded her universe, along with many other world leaders, when she included a message of goodwill on the mission to the moon. These messages were transferred onto a silicon disc, which still sits on the moon's surface today. She sent her first email in 1976 from a British army base. She was an early believer in Facebook, signing on to join Facebook in 2010, which I am pretty sure was much earlier than I joined.

Politically, over 70 years, we all know Her Majesty was the head of the Commonwealth, linking more than two billion people worldwide. She watched 14 different British prime ministers come into power during her time as monarch, starting with Sir Winston Churchill up until the most recent British prime minister. In Canada, there were 12 prime ministers during her reign, from then prime minister Louis St. Laurent, who we have heard about today, to our current Prime Minister.

Speaking of Canada, time and again, Her Majesty marked Canada's modern history. Over the course of 70 years and 23 royal tours, Queen Elizabeth II saw this country from coast to coast to coast and was here for every major milestone. It was no secret she loved this country. She would even proclaim that it was good to be home when she would come to Canada.

There were other details about Her Majesty that bring a smile to the face. She was a soccer fan and an avid Arsenal fan. She even invited the team for afternoon tea at the palace in 2006. I understand that she had a sweet tooth and had a piece of chocolate cake every day, including one on her birthday that she shared with all of her staff and the people in the palace. The Queen took delight in her stamp collection. It was built on the collection of her father and previous monarchs and filled about 300 albums.

Heaven forbid if someone witnessed her handbag over her arm because it was a sign to her staff that she was bored with the person she was speaking to. My colleagues need to beware if I ask where my handbag is when they are speaking. They will now know why. I expect I will be doing it a lot when the opposition is asking questions during question period.

While the Queen served with dedication, sincerity and loyalty, she was equally committed to her family. As a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she clearly took great pleasure in her family.

I want to pause for some personal reflections. I was born in Thunder Bay, and probably my earliest memory of Her Majesty was when she came to Fort William in 1973. It was a big event. The streets swelled with people. The people's pride swelled. It left a permanent impression on everybody there, including me as a young man. It was also marked by the occasion of a challenge with protocol, one might say. The mayor at the time was a rather gregarious individual who reached out and touched the Queen in a way that nobody should, and in traditional British fashion the media reported it with photographs that appeared to show the mayor exercising a certain familiarity.

She had a presence everywhere I went. I walked into my classrooms and I walked into many courtrooms, and just to be clear I was a lawyer, and she was always there looking over us. She was a fixture in our lives since the day everybody in this chamber was born, and she will be for the rest of our lives.

I had the honour to meet His Majesty King Charles III when he and the Queen Consort came to Canada this past May. I know I speak on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, including the people of Etobicoke—Lakeshore, when I wish him the very best as he takes on his new responsibilities. He has big shoes to fill.

To Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, I say rest in peace. She certainly deserves it.

Long live the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

12:55 p.m.


Marc Dalton Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Madam Speaker, it is with sorrow that I rise to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of my constituents in Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge. I offer condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the entire royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II was probably the most well-known woman in the entire world. She was an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people for her grace, service, kindness, leadership and example.

As Canada mourns our longest-reigning monarch, we remember her historic service to the British Commonwealth of Nations, her grace, her leadership and her kindness, which inspired many and had an impact on millions of lives.

At 96 years of age, for the vast majority, she has been with us for all of our lives. We knew that she would not be with us forever, but still her passing came as a surprise because she was in the public eye a couple of days beforehand meeting with the new Prime Minister of Britain, Liz Truss. Outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson said on that day that she was “bright and focused” and that his weekly meetings with the Queen were “a wonderful moment of tranquility” and “a fantastic break from everything else”. There is a sense of loss: national loss and personal loss.

I started collecting stamps when I was a child back in the sixties. Back then, one could send a letter across Canada for 4¢. Then it was 5¢, 6¢, 8¢, and now we do not even put a numerical value on the stamps. However, hers was the lovely face on those stamps. On our pennies, and I do have a jarful, nickels, dimes and quarters, on one side is the maple leaf, the beaver, the caribou or the Bluenose schooner and on the other side is her face. We literally carried her with us. She was not only the Queen of Britain but also the Queen of Canada, our Queen, and the longest-serving Queen in Commonwealth, British and Canadian history.

Canada is the third most enduring democracy in the world, which is no small feat. Only the United Kingdom and the United States have been democracies for longer. The stability of our parliamentary system contrasts with so much of the rest of the world, which has undergone revolutions and wars or been under oppressive rule.

We are a constitutional monarchy whereby the Queen, and now the King, are the official head of state under the rule of law in a parliament chosen by the people. The roots of our freedom trace back to the Magna Carta Libertatum, which is Latin for the great charter of freedoms. It was signed to make peace between King John and unhappy barons in 1215, some 800 years ago.

There are symbols of the Crown everywhere in the country, in government and here in Parliament. For example, the Mace, which is before us here, is a symbol of the authority of the sovereign Queen, and now the King, and the power of the House of Commons. The Crown is the institution upon which our entire system of government rests. It is on the authority of the Crown that we uphold democracy, peace, justice and order in Canada. We should never doubt that the Crown is indeed a Canadian institution.

During the American Revolution, Quebec could have joined the other American colonies. We must not forget that the British had conquered New France only 15 or so years earlier, but French Canadians decided that it was much better to remain a colony under England's king and Parliament to better protect their language, religion and freedoms.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was proud of the fact that Canada was a francophone nation and insisted on speaking French at every opportunity.

Queen Elizabeth exemplified service and set the standard for all leaders to follow.

As has been mentioned, on her 21st birthday in 1947, she broadcasted to the world from South Africa, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service”.

Queen Elizabeth II did live a life of service. In fact, she served in the military during World War II against Nazism as a second lieutenant. On her first televised speech in 1957, she said, “I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion”.

Happily, she did live a long life.

On August 28th, just a few days before her passing, I held an outdoor ceremony to award Platinum Jubilee Awards in honour of Her Majesty’s 70 years of reign and in recognition of my constituents’ dedication to community service.

It was a very special time recognizing some of well-known people and others who are not well known. I think of one gentleman who, for many years, has walked for about 10 kilometres a day, and he brings with him a garbage bag to collect garbage along his way. He says he wants to keep fit, but we all benefit from his service.

On her Platinum Jubilee, she said, “When it comes to how to mark 70 years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first.... I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”

She said, “While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all”.

The Queen had her own style. According to her biographer, as the Queen was quite petite, she felt that it was important to be seen in order to be believed. With that in mind, she chose to wear outfits of bright colours in her public engagements.

With colour-coordinated hats and umbrellas, it was hard to lose sight of the Queen even when it was raining cats and dogs. She kept the same style for decades: monochromatic, colourful and eye-catching, yet unflashy. She said that no one would recognize her if she wore more drab clothing.

She once said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” As we grieve the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, it is because of our affection for her, and this sorrow is in response to the love she had for her subjects over many, many years.

As a member of His Majesty's loyal opposition, I join my colleagues in offering my full support to our new king, His Majesty King Charles III.

God save the King. Long may he reign.

I will close with this final quote from the Queen: “Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.”

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1:05 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick


Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Madam Speaker, I am truly honoured to address the House of Commons today, on this historic occasion, in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

For the past seven decades, she has been a constant in our world and in our lives. Through good times and challenging times, a dozen prime ministers here in Canada and even more in the United Kingdom, and all of the rapid social and technological changes that have marked the years since she ascended to the throne in 1952 as the Queen of Canada, our Queen, she has always been there.

Now, unfortunately, she is no more. Although she is no longer with us, she will never be forgotten, if what we have seen every day since the announcement of her death is any indication.

As we have heard in the tributes in this place and from around the world, she truly was a remarkable woman and her memory will live forever. The memories of her will not just be of who she was as Queen but as who she was as a person.

Despite living her life constantly in the public eye from the time that she was born, she unfailingly lived up to the enormous pressures that were put upon her. She was warm and she was a compassionate person. She displayed grace and wisdom. She believed in serving her country and serving the Commonwealth.

These are qualities that all of us should aspire to.

On this occasion, I will focus my speech on her four visits to the Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe region and the impact she had on the people in our part of the country, the beautiful province of New Brunswick.

On her first trip to Moncton in 1951, Her Royal Highness, the Princess Elizabeth, then the Duchess of Edinburgh, visited our historic park, which was named after her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

This week, one of my constituents from Moncton talked about the time that school children travelled by bus to the park that day in November to welcome the young princess. She also told me how, at age 10, she marvelled at Elizabeth's beauty and Prince Philip's imposing presence, not to mention his impressive height.

The young girl had meticulously kept an album of black and white photos of the royal couple's wedding a few years earlier and now they were standing before her in the flesh.

When asked all these years later what the weather was like on that November day, my constituent paused for a brief moment and then said that it must have been a fine day, but she could not really remember the details. She said that it was all so thrilling and that the day just seemed to glow.

I will tell the House that I live near Victoria Park, and I walk through it whenever I am home. It is a beautiful place. However, I must also admit that a fine day at the park in November in New Brunswick is by no means guaranteed. I can only guess that it was in fact the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh who made the day shine so brightly in the eyes of my constituent.

As we all know, it would only be three short months after her visit to Moncton that Princess Elizabeth, a young wife and mother of two toddlers, would suddenly lose her beloved father, King George VI, and take on the burden of the Crown, all in an instant.

Young Princess Elizabeth could have never imagined that she would wear that crown for the next seven decades and that, for so many of us, she would become not only a monarch, but also a mother and grandmother figure.

She could also never have imagined that day that, in 70 years on the throne, she would never once falter in her duty and that she would remain a symbol of grace and distinction for so many of us.

Queen Elizabeth returned to Moncton, to Victoria Park, just eight years later, but this time as Her Majesty.

This royal visit in the summer of 1959 is still the most memorable one for the people of New Brunswick. The Queen and Prince Philip had just started a cross-Canada tour when a violent storm hit New Brunswick's Northumberland coast.

In all, 35 men and boys, all but four of them from the tiny village of Escuminac, New Brunswick, were forever lost at sea. Upon hearing of the tragic news, and throughout her 45 day royal tour in Canada, Her Majesty continued to ask for regular updates about the disaster. Upon arriving in the Yukon territory, the Queen suddenly felt ill. We now know she was secretly suffering from morning sickness in the first trimester of her pregnancy. When she confided this to then prime minister John Diefenbaker, he suggested that she and Prince Philip should shorten their tour. It was also suggested to her that perhaps the sovereign use the New Brunswick leg of the tour to simply rest, once they had arrived to our beautiful province.

The Queen would hear none of it, however. Not only did the royal couple fulfill all of their engagements in New Brunswick, but they also added more stops, taking the time to meet with the widows and orphans of the Escuminac disaster on the wharf at Pointe-du-Chêne, where the Royal Yacht Britannia was moored in Shediac Bay.

There, one summer day on the wharf, our Queen, herself a young wife and mother, did her best to comfort the grieving families in both English and French, effortlessly switching between the two languages.

According to the Moncton Daily Times, the newspaper of the day, among the mothers and wives weeping on the wharf was none other than Her Majesty herself. It has been said many times that the stoicism and resolve Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated throughout her life was brightly admired by all in the realm. In that instant, during a time of terrible tragedy in our province, her resolute strength surely gave everyone great courage.

That day, however, in our little corner of New Brunswick, the Queen's compassion briefly overcame her extraordinary resolve. Everyone in New Brunswick was touched to see Queen Elizabeth II express her sadness so openly.

It was later reported that the royal couple broke precedent and donated an undisclosed but generous sum to the fund set up for families of the lost. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's gift inspired people around the world to donate to the cause as well. New Brunswick has never forgotten that kind gesture on their part.

The Queen and the Prince visited New Brunswick again in 1984 during much happier times. Nearly two decades later, in 2002, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh returned to the Moncton area for their final visit.

Next month, it will be 20 years since she visited us on her Golden Jubilee tour. During her visit, she helped my home town of Dieppe celebrate its 50th anniversary. She also inaugurated the new terminal of what is now called the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport, because she wanted to honour the people of Moncton for welcoming the thousands of travellers stranded at the airport following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the year before her visit.

For 70 years and throughout her glorious reign, Her Majesty was there for the people of New Brunswick, in good times and also in bad times, just as she was there for people throughout the Commonwealth. We will never forget her.

I would like to conclude my remarks with a story, not about our departed Queen but rather our new King. It is a story that was never publicly reported and not really widely known. While the tragedy of Escuminac is fading in the memory for many New Brunswickers, some of the darkest days in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe's history are unfortunately still painful memories for many of my constituents.

Eight years ago, a shooting in our community injured five members of the RCMP, three of them fatally. At the time, I was a social worker employed by the RCMP as a victim services coordinator.

The grief in our community and our police detachment in the aftermath was something impossible to describe in words. Thankfully, messages of support from the public and private came from around the world, and they really helped our people heal. One of those private messages of support came from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales himself, who also sent personal letters and bouquets of flowers to the wives of the three fallen RCMP members.

It may have been a small gesture, but it was also a reminder that no matter how bad things get, there is still good in the world. The kindness and thoughtfulness that our future king showed is the kind of thing we learn from our parents, if we are lucky.

The Prince of Wales had the good fortune of having his mother with him for 73 years, and she was a shining example.

God bless the Queen, and God bless the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1:15 p.m.


Larry Brock Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to begin by expressing my deepest condolences to the royal family during this most heart-wrenching time. Her Majesty's sense of duty to Canada, along with her commitment to other members of the Commonwealth, was continually demonstrated through her noble actions. I know I speak for many when I say we are forever grateful for her devotion to this country.

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.” These are the famously remembered remarks from the speech that Princess Elizabeth made on her 21st birthday, in 1947. This vow was more than promised; it was undeniably fulfilled.

In 1951, two years prior to her coronation, Princess Elizabeth made a visit to my riding of Brantford—Brant. It was the first of three times that Her Majesty visited my riding. She was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, and the couple passed through the city on their way to review cadets at the Royal Military College in Kingston.

In 1984, Her Majesty made her second visit to Brantford. Over 4,000 people, including me and my parents, gathered at Her Majesty's Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, one of Canada's three royal chapels, where she unveiled a plaque recognizing the chapel as Upper Canada's first Anglican church. She also declared the land as a Canadian national historic site for being the oldest surviving church in Ontario.

On that same tour, she visited the Six Nations of the Grand River, which is also located in my riding. The Six Nations commemorate the close ties between the Six Nations and the British Crown annually on Victoria Day, by organizing a “Bread & Cheese” day.

As many know, my riding is also known as the Telephone City. Alexander Graham Bell's family immigrated to Canada and settled on a small piece of farmland just outside the city. On Her Majesty's third and final visit to Brantford in 1997, she paid a visit to the Bell Homestead, the historic site where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, acknowledging the achievements made by Mr. Bell along with his significance in Canadian history. On this tour, the Queen also dined at the Olde School Restaurant, which is still in operation today and is adorned with photos preserving that moment in history for its customers to continue to enjoy.

I am thankful that many constituents across my riding have taken the time to contact my office, sharing the memories of her visits, expressing the feelings of excitement, joy, hope and kindness that they had when she came, and saying that her presence was unforgettable. The Queen's visits to Brantford are clearly just one illustration of how, during her reign, she was a vigorous participant in Canadian historic evolution and a genuine advocate for the future success of our country.

Over her 70 years, Queen Elizabeth made 22 official trips to Canada. Throughout her reign, she witnessed the rise and fall of 12 prime ministers. Canada is the country that the Queen spent the most time in; thus it is safe to say that the Queen has a special place here in Canada and we are thrilled to serve as her home away from home. Her Majesty's commitment to Canada only just began when she was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom in 1952 and became the first monarch to open the doors of our Parliament in 1957. Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to be crowned Queen of Canada, and she dedicated her life to public service.

Following in the unforgettable footsteps of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who had approved the federation act of 1867, Queen Elizabeth II went on to grant the Constitution Act of 1982 with royal assent. It was her influence on this legislation that made the foundation for Canada to amend its Constitution and allowed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to become law. For many, Canada entered a new era, an era full of patriation and pride.

Millions of people around the world, in Canada and across the other 14 countries in which the Queen was head of state, are mourning. During her reign, Elizabeth travelled to 117 countries, including 56 Commonwealth states, and presided over 2.5 billion residents. She was undoubtedly the world's most travelled world leader, and her visits certainly played an important role in spreading democratic values throughout the globe throughout the last 70 years.

In her 1947 speech, she encouraged everyone to make the Commonwealth freer, happier, more prosperous and a more powerful influence for good in the world. She said, “To accomplish that we must give nothing less than the whole of ourselves.” She did exactly that, and we must continue to uphold that vow.

Her Majesty's commitment to all realms of the Commonwealth will forever be cherished, and her leadership, commitment and inspiration will forever live on. The passing of Her Majesty was heartbreaking. Serving as the United Kingdom's longest-reigning sovereign, there is no doubt that the mark she left is truly monumental. It has been both an honour and a privilege to serve the citizens of Brantford—Brant as a member of Her Majesty's loyal opposition. She showed us how to lead, gave us hope and set the best example of service above self, and for that we owe her enormous gratitude.

May God grant her eternal rest.

Now, I would like to take this opportunity and stand very proudly, as a member of the riding of Brantford—Brant, and swear my allegiance to King Charles III.

God save the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1:20 p.m.


Brendan Hanley Liberal Yukon, YT

Madam Speaker, today I, too, have the sad privilege to rise and express my heartfelt sympathy, and the sympathy of my constituents, to our sovereign King Charles III and his family as they mourn their “beloved mama”, grandmother and great-grandmother, our late Queen Elizabeth II.

Today, we are thinking about the 70 years of service given to Canada by our Queen, a head of state who played a key, albeit often discreet, role in the lives of Canadians.

Most Canadians alive today have known no other head of state. Many governments and parliaments have come and gone, while she, the Queen, has remained. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Yukon for two days on their tour of Canada in 1959. To illustrate this memorable visit, I have shared an old Pathé clip on my social media pages, outlining the royal couple's tour through the so-called “romantic Yukon”.

Of course, 64 years ago, Whitehorse, only recently named the territorial capital, was quite a different place. Streets were still unpaved and some houses still lacked indoor plumbing. The great era of Yukon sternwheelers had ended only a few years before, and with a thriving army base there remained a substantial military presence in the community.

There are still Yukoners who proudly remember that visit, including that the power went out one night in Whitehorse, leaving the royal couple in the dark overnight. During their visit they toured the MacBride Museum and boarded a special royal train on the White Pass and Yukon railway for a short trip to the edge of the town.

Pregnant with her third child and experiencing a teensy bit of morning sickness, Her Majesty elected to refrain from travelling further, while the Duke of Edinburgh flew to both Dawson and Mayo on a four-engine de Havilland Heron. The pilot was Prince Philip himself. As another reminder of the Yukon of that time, when Philip returned to the city he was able to taxi the plane right up to the door of the VIP House, then located on the escarpment side of the airport, although since then relocated downtown.

When the royal party insisted on greeting Yukoners in an open car on their tour, officials had to look for willing drivers on the street to lend a car to the royals for the day. A suitable car was indeed found in a brand new Ford Fairlane convertible driven by Cassiar miner Vincenzo Caparelli.

It was a very special visit. To revisit this occasion is to remind us of the relationship that the Yukon and many Yukoners enjoy with the Crown.

Naturally, Canadians felt a wide range of emotions following our recent loss. For some, it was like losing a family member. Others chose to reflect on her role and her service and to express their condolences to the immediate family, stopping there.

However, for those who are feeling and living with the consequences of colonial projects undertaken by the government in her name, this loss can bring up more painful thoughts.

As a constitutional monarchy, Canadians are fortunate that this broad spectrum of emotions and arguments can be expressed publicly, sometimes simultaneously, and shared with others respectfully. There are few other countries beyond the Commonwealth of Nations where the head of state is able to rise above the political fray, providing continuity, compassionate engagement, and the longevity and foresight that elected governments, focused primarily on the next election, often overlook to their detriment.

The Crown as an institution, now represented by King Charles III, will take on that role as someone removed from the changing winds of partisanship, as the elected chambers in Canada have been since his ancestor Queen Victoria first granted Canada responsible government almost 200 years ago.

The Crown of Canada represented an important relationship between the state and its members. This relationship became particularly important in the context of the global climate crisis and Canada's continuing journey toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

Many of the agreements, treaties and proclamations signed between the state and indigenous peoples of the past and modern era are between indigenous citizens and the Crown. We know that elected governments have not always honoured those agreements as they should have, and some have ignored them entirely, leading to devastating results and the legacy of trauma that repeatedly plays out in tragedy. The James Smith Cree Nation murders that we stood silent for in the House this morning are the most current and painful reminder of the harm done through Canada's colonial practices, presided over by our monarchy.

However, healing can and will continue. In His Majesty's visit to Canada as Prince of Wales earlier this year, he met with survivors of residential schools and called on Canadians to listen to “the truth of the lived experiences” of indigenous peoples, saying, “We all have a responsibility to listen, understand and act in ways that foster relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

As a British-born Canadian of Irish and Scottish descent, and with my own mother having grown up in India's Raj, I recognize the difficult symbolism held within the Crown in my own ancestral homelands. As a settler Canadian, I see the parallels in the colonial projects across centuries, but I also recognize how the Crown has evolved to recognize the harm done in its name, whether abroad or in Canada.

Earlier this week, during his first visit to Northern Ireland, King Charles III met with leaders and politicians and spoke about the importance of reconciliation in a remarkable exchange of conciliatory gestures, a continuation of the goodwill demonstrated by the Queen in the final years of her reign.

I am confident that on the occasion of King Charles's first visit to Canada, he will continue to express a will to listen and engage with indigenous peoples and all Canadians on the journey to reconciliation across the country.

I finish today by saying that out of this period of mourning, hope and reconciliation will continue to build for a better tomorrow. What Canadian would not agree, and what better legacy could we want from our Queen?

In offering our condolences for his bereavement and as we recall the compassion, poise and grace that his mother brought to her role for 70 years as our head of state, moving Canada from a young country constrained by old ideas to a mature nation on a path to inclusiveness and prosperity, we deliver our best wishes for our new King's reign. Long live King Charles III.

Thank you, gunalchéesh, shäw níthän, mahsi cho.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1:30 p.m.


Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Madam Speaker, it is with sadness in our hearts that we are gathered here today to pay tribute to someone who was absolutely all-encompassing. When we think about the impact Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had not only on the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth but also the entire world, our hearts grieve at the tremendous loss for all of us, and in particular those of us on whom she had an impact here in Canada especially, a country she visited so often. I think it was the country she visited most often outside of the U.K. We were beloved by Her Majesty and we loved her back. The hole she leaves in all of us here in Canada is huge, but her legacy will live on and the impact she made will continue for generations to come.

I want to extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathies to the royal family and all those who are grieving the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. The stability Her Majesty brought to the role as Queen was something all leaders can only aspire to and hope to provide to the people they represent and serve.

When I think back on the years she served and all the turmoil our world has gone through in the time of her service and throughout her lifetime, it is rather remarkable. As a child, she was raised in a time of global turmoil. She knew what it was to be in the midst of World War II and world war conflict. In that time, she knew what it was to have her family be under threat of attack. She probably experienced fears like everyone else and wondered what the future would hold, and even at that stage was beginning to feel a bit of the weight that was going to come upon her when she ascended to the throne.

It is hard to believe that no less than 12 Canadian prime ministers served during her reign, from the Right Hon. Louis St-Laurent through to our current Prime Minister. During her reign, 15 United Kingdom prime ministers served, beginning with the one-of-a-kind and one-and-only Sir Winston Churchill. What a way to begin her reign as Queen, serving alongside and with Mr. Churchill. Just two days prior to her passing, she swore in her 15th prime minister, Prime Minister Liz Truss.

She was Queen during the time of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. She was Queen when Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. She was Queen during the Vietnam War and experienced what the world was going through during that time. She experienced the joy of seeing the first-ever woman elected as prime minister of the U.K., that being Margaret Thatcher. She was there in our history for the repatriation of Canada's Constitution and the establishment of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Her Majesty was Queen during the terrible tragedy of Chernobyl's nuclear disaster. She was there for the fall of the Berlin Wall. She was with us during the time of the Gulf War. She was also there for the end of apartheid. She was there to witness the end of strife in Northern Ireland. She was also with us through the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. Of course she was there when our world experienced the banking crisis, the mortgage crisis and the great recession of 2008-09. She witnessed the start of the Arab Spring. More recently, she went through COVID-19 with the rest of us.

Throughout the vicissitudes of life's ups and downs that our world has gone through, Her Majesty remained a beacon of stability, hope, strength and courage. No matter what our world was going through, whenever Her Majesty spoke, she spoke with a calmness and a resoluteness that resonated with all the people she had influence over.

She bore many titles. She was referred to as the Queen, the head of the Commonwealth, our sovereign and Her Majesty, but it has been said of the Queen that her preferred title, her favourite title, was Her Grace. She loved to be referred to as “Her Grace”. As the story goes, she loved that title because she felt very deeply that she was in her role of the Queen because of the grace of her lord and saviour. She took that role very seriously because she saw it as a fulfilment of her calling here on earth. At the time of her coronation, Her Majesty stated:

Therefore I am sure that this, my Coronation, is not the symbol of a power and a splendour that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by God's Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.

The Queen bore witness to the importance of faith in her life and in our world throughout all kinds of circumstances. She celebrated the joys of our seasons, and reflected upon her faith in her annual Christmas addresses that many of us remember with fondness. I am sure in times of crisis and tragedies she drew strength from her faith and she would share that with those of us listening to her messages. She was not immune to the sufferings of her people. Not only was she the Queen but she was also a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a great-grandmother and an aunt. She experienced all that those roles can bring to a person's life and emotions.

Her Majesty experienced the death of her father in 1952 and became our sovereign at the young age of 25. In August 1997, we all remember the tragic loss of Princess Diana. She also endured the passing of her husband in recent years. She understood the stress and strain during the times of turmoil that we have all faced in our lives, but there was an additional component for her. When someone is a leader, where do they go when their heart is heavy and they grieve the affairs of the people they feel responsibility for? Where did the Queen go when her heart was overwhelmed? Where did the Queen go when she felt like she needed to talk to someone? She told us. She expressed to us where she got her strength. She said:

I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.

She also said:

To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example.

Today, it is my hope in this House that where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II found comfort would also be the source of our comfort, that we would look to the same one that she, the Queen, looked to, and find great joy and comfort in the midst of deep sorrow and loss knowing that our hope goes beyond here.

God save the King, and may God continue to bless Canada.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1:40 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador


Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Labour

Madam Speaker, there is a story that is told quite fondly back home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. During a visit to St. John's in 1997, she was invited to tour the historic Purity Factories, which is the purveyors of such Newfoundland delicacies as Peppermint Nobs and Hard Tack. At one point, she stopped next to a worker in his white factory coat and hairnet and watched with him as the belt went by filled with Rum and Butter Kisses or some such. There was a prolonged silence, because the worker was at a complete and total loss for words with the monarch, the Queen of Canada, standing right next to him, until she politely inquired, “What is it exactly that you make here?” Before she even had a chance to finish her question, he immediately answered, “$12.75 an hour, Your Majesty.”

I do not know if that story is even true, but I sure want it to be. We all did at the time. In a time before Facebook, it was the kind of story that leapt over backyard fences; it moved so fast. People laughed at it in a good-natured way because we saw ourselves in it, the awkwardness of the poor fellow being chosen to answer questions of the Queen who had unexpectedly stopped next to him of all people.

Maybe it was the practical nature of Newfoundlanders who assume that when they are asked, “What is it exactly that you make here,” it refers to what it is they earn and only perhaps, upon a second question, what it is they produce. Perhaps it was because we all knew that if this Queen asked the question, “What is it exactly that you make here,” it was not because she was asking about what the person makes. It was because she was asking about the person. That is how we saw her. That is how we knew her.

She had a gentle smile under a broad-brimmed hat, purse at her wrist and flowers in her hands. She walked along lines of people in parks, in malls and in factories, stopping every few steps to make polite inquiries here and there, a handshake and a laugh and then moving along unfailingly happy to be in the presence of others with never a sign of fatigue or disinterest, day after day, month after month, year after year, every year of our lives.

She was a constant and it feels like there are so few constants in our lives anymore. Maybe that is why so many of us were surprised not so much by her passing after such a long and rich life, but by our reaction to it. In what seems to be such a tumultuous time with a pandemic, a war in Europe and global events taking on such careening velocity with all our technology, her constant presence calmed, soothed and inspired.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II understood her role as the head of the Commonwealth, the formality, the responsibility and the obligation, but her brilliance was in finding a way to communicate her humanity while maintaining her mystery, to resort to quiet conversation and not broadcast, and to find some corner of our lives in which to take root and to always be there unfailingly.

She understood more than most how we starve for constants in our lives, even if she was only in the corner of our eye on TV as we made supper for the kids, a fleeting image on our phones as we took the bus home from work, there again in her hat, the line of people, her smile, her purse and her laugh. Some of those people were in on the joke with her. They know why she laughed and they know how she soothed.

Great story aside, that fellow at Purity Factories knows exactly what she said and he will never forget it. Heads of state, presidents and prime ministers were all humbled by her presence to whom she gave searingly good advice that came from experience, that came from having as her first British prime minister to come calling, Sir Winston Churchill. No matter one's station, she was a constant, unfailing and unflinching. She was our North Star, now snuffed out.

In the days ahead, we are going to notice the sky a little emptier and realize what we had all along: a steadfast guardian of our Constitution, an embodiment of the higher calling offered by public service and the face and voice we could rely on in troubling times. For now, we are burdened by the sadness of our loss, but in the days to come we will be buoyed by the example she set and the comfort she offered.

On behalf of my constituents and all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, I extend our most sincere condolences to His Majesty the King of Canada, the royal family and the people of the Commonwealth and around the world who are mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, perhaps the greatest servant to the people any nation has ever known.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1:45 p.m.


Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Madam Speaker, it is both a great honour and a sad responsibility to stand in the House today, on behalf of the people of Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in this special commemorative session. For me, today is another one of those moments that so many of us never imagined being part of. I think we are all still in a bit of shock, because despite her advanced age, we really had not begun to think about or contemplate a world without the only head of state that most of us have known our whole lives.

It is an inspiring reminder of just how long and in how many ways the Queen served all of us to note that not only was she our longest serving monarch, but Queen Elizabeth was among the dwindling group of veterans who proudly served in World War II. In early 1945, as a young woman of 19, she joined the British Auxiliary Territorial Service, becoming the first female member of the royal family on active duty, where she served in non-traditional roles in learning how to drive and maintain vehicles, an interest she maintained for the rest of her life.

When we think of her long reign, it is important to remember that her accession to the throne really was doubly unexpected. In 1936, the unexpected abdication of her uncle, King Edward VIII, made her heir to the throne at age 11. Then, the early and equally unexpected death of her father, King George VI, in 1952, thrust her into the role of Queen at the age of 26.

However, Queen Elizabeth seemed to have intuitively understood from the beginning that the role of constitutional monarch requires a broad knowledge and a depth of understanding of both politics and world affairs in order to carry out the role of Queen effectively. She worked very hard at making sure that she was fulfilling that role in the best way she could. She knew that although her powers were in fact very few, they remained very significant.

I apologize here for still being a recovering political scientist even after 11 years in the House, but I do think that an understanding of the role of constitutional monarch is important to understanding just how good a queen Queen Elizabeth II was.

By the 1860s, British constitutional scholar Walter Bagehot famously asserted that only three rights remained to the British sovereign: the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn, a clear statement of the line between governing and reigning in a constitutional monarchy. While the Queen could exercise those rights in private, other important functions of the monarchy always required that those rights be exercised only in private. Those other important functions are to serve as a guarantee of constitutional government, to guarantee continuity of government and to provide a symbol of national unity above politics.

It was the passage of the Statute of Westminster by the U.K. Parliament in 1931 that created a separate Canadian monarchy in law. This act also clarified that the Canadian Governor General was the direct representative of the sovereign and not the U.K. government. At the same time, it confirmed the well-established precedent that the few reserve powers of the monarchy, those largely revolving around the appointment and dismissal of prime ministers, could only be discharged by the Canadian Governor General and not the Crown. What was left to British monarchs, now established legally as our Canadian monarchs? It was almost nothing, except, again, guaranteeing constitutional government, guaranteeing continuity and guaranteeing national unity.

While some have trouble seeing a monarch as a symbol of continuity and of the state and unity, personally, I see this concept as providing a key advantage by separating the concept of loyalty from politics. There are other solutions to this problem, but none are so simple and reliable as a constitutional monarchy. That is why there are so many constitutional monarchs among the great democracies of the world, not just Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and other members of the Commonwealth, but also Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Norway and Japan.

Today, we need to remind ourselves how much Queen Elizabeth II has come to represent the model constitutional monarch and exemplify the strengths of constitutional monarchy. In our system, the fact that loyalty is expressed toward the Crown protects us from the worst ravages of civil discord. Our oaths are sworn to the Crown and not to the politicians of the day. This means, as some of us like to point out, that everyone can feel free to oppose the Prime Minister without having our loyalty to Canada being questioned. We have seen the dangers of unifying symbolic and political roles in a single person and how that is still playing out in our neighbour to the south.

Queen Elizabeth's long life has caused many to take for granted a second strength of constitutional monarchy, which is continuity. She saw 12 Canadian prime ministers, from Louis St. Laurent to our current Prime Minister, 12 B.C. premiers, from W.A.C. Bennett to John Horgan, and countless other provincial premiers come and go. It is not a surprise given that she served Canada for nearly half of our time as an independent country.

When a constitutional monarch dies, there is no doubt about the continuity of the institution, as their heirs automatically assume the throne. When prime ministers leave office, in turn the constitutional monarchy guarantees there will be someone there to make sure the job is filled.

At this point, I want to acknowledge that the symbol of the Crown has differing meanings for first nations in this country, and I express my respect for those who have different understandings of the role and responsibilities of the sovereign as they relate to first nations. I acknowledge that this understandably results in differing and diverse reactions to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II among first nations.

Now, after my long digression on the role of the monarchy, let me return to the long reign of Queen Elizabeth in less theoretical terms.

She did this job with incredible grace and dignity, in good times and bad, and always under the relentless scrutiny of the press and public. However, somehow, despite the limitations inherent in her role, Queen Elizabeth still managed to let the person she was shine through. I am going to recount two stories that illustrate this for me, although neither is my own story. I trust the owners will not mind, as they have told these stories publicly before.

A few days ago, Dmitriy Shapiro reminded us of the story of the Queen's meeting with Holocaust survivors at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz in 2005, as recounted by late Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Sacks wrote about the Queen's attendance where she met with Holocaust survivors, and while protocol and scheduling normally kept the Queen to a very tight schedule, with the Queen usually being ushered away promptly by her staff at the end of her appearance, on this occasion Queen Elizabeth refused to leave. She remained, speaking individually to members of the large group who had gathered. One of her attendants told Rabbi Sacks that they had never seen her stay so long after a scheduled departure. Let me quote Rabbi Sacks:

She gave each survivor—it was a large group—her focused, unhurried attention. She stood with each until they had finished telling their personal story. It was an act of kindness that almost had me in tears. One after another, the survivors came to me in a kind of trance, saying: “Sixty years ago I did not know if I would be alive tomorrow, and here I am today talking to the queen.” It brought a kind of blessed closure into deeply lacerated lives.

My second story, more brief, demonstrates the Queen's compassion. It has been told by Catherine Clark, who was stuck, as a 10-year-old, at a reception of a Commonwealth heads of government meeting. When she said she wanted to leave, she was told that no one could leave before the Queen, so she waited by the door. A short time later, the Queen came by and asked why she was still at the reception after all this time. Catherine told the Queen that she was waiting for her to leave first, to which the Queen responded, “Well, let’s go then, shall we?” Then she took her hand and off they went.

There are so many more stories of this kind, stories of her kindness and genuine interest in the ordinary people she served. She has touched so many individuals and families. Even in my own family, my uncle, John Garrison, now in his eighties, still likes to recount the story of serving as part of an honour guard when Queen Elizabeth placed a wreath at the Canadian cross on a visit to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington in 1957. He recalls standing along the red carpet when she passed, close enough to reach out and touch her, although he says with a glint in his eye, “Even at a young age I understood that things wouldn't go well for me if I actually did that.”

My own experiences with the Queen were always at a greater distance, including being on the streets of Ottawa in 1983 when the Queen came to preside over the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution and in 1994 when she came to the Commonwealth Games in Victoria. On those occasions, I saw the genuine affection for the Queen first-hand.

My closest personal connection to Queen Elizabeth came at the time of her Diamond Jubilee. One way the Queen chose to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee was by awarding medals for community service, which is so fitting for a monarch whose whole life was one of exemplary service. It was a great honour as a member of Parliament to award those medals in my riding on her behalf, and it meant so much to the recipients.

Queen Elizabeth's love for Canada was shown by her many visits: 22 as a sovereign in total, I am told, including seven visits to British Columbia, with stops on Vancouver Island each time. Some stops in my riding are well documented, including her visits to review cadets at what was then the Royal Roads Military College in 1951 and 1983, showcasing the close connection the royal family has always had with the Canadian Forces.

As well in 1983, the Queen unveiled a plaque at Craigflower school in my riding to commemorate it as the oldest school building still standing in western Canada.

Of course, some of her visits had greater significance, including the 1971 visit marking the 100th anniversary of British Columbia joining Confederation, the 1994 opening of the Commonwealth Games, and probably the most Canadian thing Her Majesty ever did, which was to drop the puck at a National Hockey League exhibition game between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks in 2002.

What stands out to me in all those visits was the obvious care and attention shown to all those the Queen and other members of the royal family met. This care and attention given to all kinds of Canadians has set a powerful message of belonging and inclusion. In doing so, the Queen set a precedent that will long survive her, a precedent I have recently seen Prince William and Prince Harry follow in carrying on the legacy of Princess Diana in embracing the 2SLGBTQI+ community.

As my time draws to a close, let me extend my personal condolences, along with those of my constituents, to the royal family in this time of great personal loss, of a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.

Let me also say that I, like many, find it hard to imagine a Canada and indeed a world without the Queen. However, in our political tradition, where precedent plays such a great role, I am confident the Queen has left us with clear guidance on how to preserve a democratic government and how to promote unity and inclusion. She has given us a powerful example of a life of service, one lived with enormous dignity and grace.

Farewell, Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario


Bryan May LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose passing is mourned by citizens of Canada, the Commonwealth and the realms, as well as millions of people around the world. Her Majesty the Queen visited my community of Cambridge twice, once in the summer of 1959 and again as part of an extended tour of Ontario in 1973, where she presented a pin at Riverside Park to the then mayor of Cambridge, Claudette Millar.

As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, I would also like to address the special relationship Her Majesty the Queen had with the Canadian Armed Forces in her role as commander-in-chief. Even before ascending the throne, Her Majesty enjoyed a special relationship with Canada's military. In 1947, then Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth was appointed colonel-in-chief of the 48th Highlanders of Canada and Le Régiment de la Chaudière. Once she became Queen of Canada, that relationship deepened through her role as Canadian Armed Forces commander-in-chief. Over and above this role, Her Majesty was also made captain general, colonel-in-chief and air commodore-in-chief of 16 Canadian military units and branches.

During 22 official tours of Canada and during ceremonies abroad, the Queen honoured our military by visiting bases, visiting Royal Canadian Navy ships, presiding over military ceremonies, laying wreaths at commemorative sites, presenting military colours, inspecting troops, meeting with veterans and attending commemorative ceremonies, including the rededication of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in 2007 and the Royal Canadian Navy centenary in Halifax in 2010.

The Queen had a personal knowledge of military life, having been the first woman in her family to serve in the army full time, as a truck driver and a mechanic. She had a deep affection and respect for our military, which was clear from her interactions with them. Just months ago, during an inspection of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, which was serving as the Queen's Guard at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty good-naturedly teased an officer about his age. With the wit and sense of humour many have talked about today, when the officer told Her Majesty that he had served in the military for over 27 years, she leaned in close to the array of medals on his uniform and smiled and said, “Yes, it looks that way”, bringing a moment of levity to a typically serious ceremony.

Just over a year ago, as colonel-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces legal branch, Her Majesty presented a royal banner to the branch to commemorate its 100th anniversary. Royal symbolism and royal traditions are key to the activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Under the National Defence Act, the rules and regulations that governed our military during her reign were called the “Queen's Regulations and Orders” and they affected every aspect of life in uniform. Every member of the Canadian Armed Forces has sworn an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen since her accession to the throne. Military officers receive the Queen's commission from which they derive their authority to command and issue orders. Canada's navy and air force both bear the distinction “royal”, and many Canadian army corps and regiments are designated “royal” as well. Many military badges, medals and insignia that adorn uniforms, flags, equipment and signs also bear the symbol of the Crown. These are only a few examples, but the list does go on and on.

The death of Her Majesty the Queen marks the end of an era. However, members of the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to personify the ideals that she represented. In the days to come, in Canada and the United Kingdom, hundreds of members of the Canadian Armed Forces will take part in parades and commemorative ceremonies to pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen and her remarkable life, and they will represent Canada and Canadians while they do so.

Through her reign, Her Majesty the Queen represented the ideals held by our people in uniform: duty, compassion and service before self. On behalf of the Minister of National Defence, the members of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the members of the royal family.

We shall miss Her Majesty the Queen dearly and may her life be an example for us all.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2:05 p.m.


Shelby Kramp-Neuman Conservative Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart to pay tribute to the icon we lost a week ago, the only Canadian head of state most of us have ever known and a magnificent woman that many of us have had the honour to meet or see in person over the past 70 years.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was so much more than just a figurehead, so much more than just our head of state. She represented an institution that has played an integral role in the development and creation of Canada, an institution whose ties to our nation bind more tightly than any other. She manifested and personified the Crown.

Today, we have heard and will continue to hear many moving speeches about what Her Majesty meant and continues to mean to us here in this place and to our constituents across this great land. The Crown, Her Majesty, is many things to many people, but I do believe it has a unique link to Hastings—Lennox and Addington. I represent two counties that were founded by United Empire Loyalists, people who lost everything south of the current border when they sided with the King during the American Revolution. The Queen was special to them and she came back multiple times to return that respect.

The King had promised United Empire Loyalists and their descendants religious freedom when they came to the colonies and delivered on that promise over many decades, keeping the colonies safe from the religious conflicts of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The King had made promises to the indigenous peoples around the Great Lakes and delivered on those as well, reiterated in the Proclamation of 1763, so Mohawk, Iroquois and others supported the King in the revolutionary cataclysm. The integral role that many of our indigenous neighbours played in the creation of Canada and, in particular, to building the communities in Loyalist Township is, unfortunately, too often forgotten, but nonetheless it cannot be overstated. To them, I say meegwetch.

It was these peoples, drawn originally from more than two dozen countries and religious backgrounds, and on the surface having only heavily accented English in common, that made up the 10,000 Loyalists, for example, who founded what became Ontario, carved out of the western flank of the colony of Quebec. Like modern-day refugees, they came from established lives and towns and villages in what is now called New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as from other revolting colonies, to start all over again here.

The King's surveyors were sent here in September 1783 to establish the boundaries on land grants to the Loyalists, and those boundaries continue today, many reflecting the roads we travel across Ontario, the layout of our streets and towns, the connecting byways and the locations of town squares and great public buildings. In Hastings, the first boatloads of Loyalists were Mohawk, who travelled from Fort Hunter in the Mohawk Valley in New York state. They landed in May of 1784, and they proudly have a royal chapel where they honour that arrival and the Crown they supported then and now. I had the great privilege of attending the ceremony honouring this landing earlier this year with Chief Don Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

The townships created in Hastings—Lennox and Addington were given names to honour their King. In Lennox and Addington, which every person here today has either driven through, passed over via train or been able to see from the air, whether they realize it or not, the townships along Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte were named for the children of King George III. Adolphustown, for example, was where the first non-Mohawk landed in June of 1784 and why Ontario proclaimed June 19 United Empire Loyalists' Day.

The road built from Kingston to Toronto knitted together the smaller roads built from the period of 1798 to 1801. It passes through Adolphustown, Fredericksburg and Ernesttown, which are three more of the townships named for the children of King George. Municipal reorganization and consolidation in the 1990s placed the first two in Greater Napanee and Ernesttown became Loyalist Township. It proudly contains Bath, Odessa and Amherstview.

It was to Amherstview, where Gord Downie grew up, where Queen Elizabeth came in September 1984 to proudly cut the ribbon of the Loyalist Parkway. This was the new name for the old roadway that had been known by different names along the route: Kingston Road, Bath Road, Toronto Road and Danforth Road, among others.

In Lennox and Addington, it was officially called the Loyalist Parkway. When one passes through the ceremonial gates at Amherstview along Highway 33, one travels over the exact spot where the Queen stood 38 years ago to thank the ancestors, the Loyalists, before those gathered that day, for the loyalty they showed to King George III and their critical role in creating Canada.

We all know what our beloved Queen has meant to every Canadian, but in my riding hearts are beating differently today as we remember and recall what she and the monarchy have meant and continue to mean to us. It is not just in the foundation and populating of our area, her ribbon cutting and kind words in Amherstview, her 1973 whistle stop at Napanee or when her yacht Britannia carried her in our waters by Amherst Island, where the Royal George escaped an American attack in the War of 1812. It is not just the local visits to next door Kingston in 1959, 1973 or in 1976, when she to opened the sailing Olympics, an event which my constituents and their parents attended in vast numbers.

No, the Queen was greater than all of that. She was an icon of service and steadfastness in the face of adversity, the one to whom we all pledged allegiance and the one who we could all imagine sharing tea with. God bless her memory and our memories of Queen Elizabeth II as we honour the second Elizabethan era.

Long live the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2:10 p.m.


Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, it is always a privilege to be able to stand in the House. I stand here before my colleagues with mixed emotions. I am both happy to to return and see colleagues on both the government and opposition benches, who I have not had the chance to see since June, but I am deeply saddened by the events that recently took place in Saskatchewan in James Smith Cree Nation, as well as what we are here today to discuss, which is the passing of our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II.

To the families who lost loved ones in Saskatchewan, we are all thinking of them and stand with them.

I would like to send my condolences to only the royal family, but indeed also to those around the world who are mourning her passing. She was a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother, but she was also our Queen and the head of state for millions around the world.

During my time today, I would like to highlight some of the incredible contributions that the Queen made to public life during her 70‑year reign. I also want to talk about the importance of the Crown and Canada's relationship with the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy.

It goes without saying that the Queen was a dedicated public servant, and I think all of us in the House, indeed all Canadians, have probably had an opportunity to reflect on her time serving as our head of state. We recently had a national caucus in New Brunswick and there were reflections of how best to be able to move forward in her passing.

Literally 36 hours before her death, she was performing her constitutional obligations. She was performing her public service by welcoming the United Kingdom's new prime minister to form government in her name. That, at its core, is a reflection of how seriously she took her job as the sovereign of not only the United Kingdom but also the realms of the Commonwealth for which she served as the head of state. It is significant.

As has been mentioned in various speeches today, in her first address to the Commonwealth, she dedicated her life to public service. It is important to recognize that during the Second World War, Princess Elizabeth served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women's branch of the British Army, where she trained as a mechanic.

I want to take a moment to talk about Her Majesty's relationship with Canada. As has been referenced, Canada was the most visited country outside of the United Kingdom in the Commonwealth that the Queen visited. She visited Nova Scotia on five separate occasions.

I am wearing a MacLachlan tie. I have deep Scottish roots and a connection to the United Kingdom. I think about the fact that the Queen loved visiting Balmoral Castle, loved her time in Scotland, specifically as part of the Highland Games and certainly, on reflection upon her visits to Nova Scotia, particularly enjoyed our province because of those deep Scottish roots that our province shares with the mother country.

In some ways, the Queen reminded me of my grandmother. I say this in the best of terms possible. They are relatively the same age. My grandmother is now 93, born just three years after the Queen. I think we could all have an appreciation, depending on one's age I suppose, of how the Queen almost served as a grandmother to all of us, particularly those who have come of age. She was someone we might not have known, but we felt like we knew because of her presence over such a long time in Canadian history.

She spent 70 years as our head of state, which is just shy of half of the entire existence of this country. It is quite significant. I saw a statistic the other day that 9 out of 10 people living in the world right now have only ever known Queen Elizabeth as the head of state, at least in the country of Canada, and indeed only one out of 10 were born prior to her serving in her capacities.

A number of reflections have come out since Her Majesty's passing. One video that I found on social media was particularly funny. I think it probably reflects the type of person that she was.

There is a police officer who had been a part of her guard, and the video is only about a minute and a half, but the police officer goes on to explain that, during one of their walks in Scotland while he was accompanying her, there were two American tourists who ran into them along the road. It became very apparent that the tourists did not know that this was Queen Elizabeth. Without going into great detail, I would encourage colleagues to actually find the video on Twitter.

The Queen played along and said that she had not met the Queen but that her police officer had. The police officer jumped in and says, “Well, yes, I have met her. She can be cantankerous at times, but she has a great personality.” Those two American tourists, according to this story, walked away not even knowing that they had just met the head of state of Canada and of all her realm. I think the Queen's good-natured spirit is reflected in that story. I would encourage colleagues to go find it.

Of course, today our primary focus is sending our condolences, recognizing the public service of Queen Elizabeth and celebrating the ascension of King Charles III. There will undoubtedly be conversations about Canada's constitutional nature. I just want to take the opportunity in the time I have left to highlight that I am unequivocal in my belief that the Crown and the relationship that Canada shares with the United Kingdom through the constitutional monarchy is something that needs to continue. I hope to go into just a little bit of detail as to why I feel that way.

Canada's relationship with the Crown is fundamental to the development of our country. The member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington went into great detail about the history of her particular riding and the relationship with loyalists that founded the area. Nova Scotia is no different. When we look at Hants County, the relationships between the Acadians and the Loyalists who came to Nova Scotia, along with those who had Scottish roots, as I mentioned previously, were all really important relationships, along with those with indigenous people, that really helped the founding our country.

This Parliament we stand in, our Westminster tradition, was founded and borrowed from our mother country in the United Kingdom. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Nova Scotia was the first colony, the first government, outside of the United Kingdom to actually form a responsible government in 1848. These are all conventions and customs that we have inherited and that evolved in Canada. They have been built off of our tradition and our relationship with the Crown and the British monarchy.

As it has been mentioned previously, our relationship with indigenous people has not always been perfect. It has indeed been rocky. Perhaps this speaks to my naivete, but in conversation with indigenous constituents, I have been surprised at the deep connection that indigenous communities in Kings—Hants share with the Crown, particularly when talking about treaties that predate the founding of Canada. Those were signed directly with the British Crown. I am thinking about the friendship treaties of the 1700s, particularly of 1763. Those were formed, and then, of course, enshrined in our Constitution in 1982.

I thought the member for Orléans did a particularly strong job of talking about how sometimes there has been tension about how the Crown's relationship in Canada has been forged both in English and French, which shows our diversity in linguistic and cultural elements.

I have just two more points before I finish. On our international outlook and cooperation, I recognize that we do not need to be a constitutional monarchy to share our relationship with the Commonwealth. Those foundational partnerships that the United Kingdom has formed around the world gives us an international community that we can work with and rely on. In today's world, where there is a whole host of uncertainty, those partnerships and international shared experiences are extremely important for our diplomatic work in the global forum.

It is often quoted that democracy is not necessarily the best form of government but that it is the best of all the other alternatives.

When we examine our own form of government as a constitutional monarchy, we see that yes, there are other forms, but I think that those forms, whether a republic or another style of government, come with a whole host of questions. When we look at the transition between Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III and the way in which that has been built over time, we see the certainty that it provides. Indeed, members have talked about our ability as parliamentarians to be focused on the partisan nature of politics, to be able to debate vigorously here in the House, but always to be doing it in the service of the Crown and the country, and that, I think, provides important stability.

I wanted to make sure that my thoughts were on the record and in Hansard.

Certainly, on behalf of the constituents of Kings—Hants, we welcome King Charles III as our new monarch in Canada. I think certainly it has been “God save the King” or “Long live the King”. I do not know exactly whether there is a convention that is different, but we certainly welcome his accession and his role as our head of state in this country.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

September 15th, 2022 / 2:25 p.m.


James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Madam Speaker, I am honoured today to be able to rise and join with all my parliamentary colleagues in paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth. On behalf of the constituents of Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, I want to offer all of our heartfelt condolences to the royal family and to all of the Queen's loyal subjects.

A lot of us have been talking about how the monarchy touches our ridings. I can tell members, being the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, that we are home to Lower Fort Garry, which was the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada, and the residence of the governor for the Hudson's Bay Company is located a bit south of the modern-day City of Selkirk.

The fort is in great condition, and every year we gather at the fort to commemorate the signing of Treaty No. 1 with the Anishinabe and the Ojibwa people, the first peoples of the land, who signed in 1871 with Canada, as Manitoba was a new province in 1870 and had just joined Confederation. The first numbered treaty in western Canada was signed.

From reading some history on Chief Peguis, Peguis First Nation, Sagkeeng First Nation and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, which are in or alongside my riding, I know that Chief Peguis, who was one of the original signatories, always took it to heart that when he signed the treaty, he was signing with the Crown, Queen Victoria. All his sons took the name “prince” because he saw himself as an equal signing a treaty with the monarchy. That is something that still resonates to this day with our first nations.

Queen Elizabeth, when she ascended to the throne on June 2, 1953, at the young age of 25, upon the death of her father, King George VI, promised to serve the people of the country of Canada, of the kingdom, for her whole life, whether it be long or short. I can tell members that she did that with grace and dignity, with humility, with a heart of service, and through her entire career of 70 years she set an example, a standard, for all of us in public service.

When she passed away on September 8, I know all of us were shocked and saddened by her passing. We will never see anything like Queen Elizabeth again. For most of us, she is the only head of state that we have known. I am 57 years old, and all I have ever known is God save the Queen. Now we have to learn the new words: God save the King. We are going to have to change all the nomenclature that we have in our institutions. It is now the Court of King's Bench instead of the Court of Queen's Bench, and people are King's Counsel now and not Queen's Counsel. All the acronyms are going to change.

We have talked about her service, and as the former shadow minister of national defence and former parliamentary secretary for national defence, I have always been incredibly impressed with her bravery and service during World War II in the army as a mechanic and as a truck driver. It was something that she was still doing until just prior to her death. She loved to be out on the land. She loved to be on the farm and she loved to be with her horses and dogs, and she loved driving her Jeep.

The former prime minister, the Right Honourable Boris Johnson, said in his tribute in the Westminster Parliament a few days ago that when he went to meet the Queen in Balmoral Castle while going through the transition of a new government forming in Britain, she actually took him for a drive. She jumped in the Jeep and she drove the truck. She was driving it. It was a standard, a shift stick, and she was hitting every gear and moving the clutch. Who would have thought that just a couple of days after that she would pass away so quickly?

We are honoured that we got to call her our head of state. We are always in awe of everything that she accomplished in her lifetime. She commanded respect around the world because she always put service and dedication to others above self.

King Charles III has renewed his mother's promise to serve as long as he lives. I know that all of us as Canadians from coast to coast to coast join in this grief along with the royal family.

We often talk about the 22 times that the Queen came to Canada, and a number of times those visits by the Queen, as well as Prince Philip, had an impact on my family. When my two older brothers were teenagers in the good old 4-H program, a youth program focused around those of us in the agriculture sector, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were at the first international livestock judging competition. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip went to the Agribition in Regina in 1977, and the 4-H people got to have supper with Prince Philip. It was a big thing at our supper tables as to how to properly eat. Which order do the forks go in? What do we do with our buns? There were all these discussions about protocol when it came to dining with a member of the royal family.

On six of the 22 times that Queen Elizabeth came to Canada, she came to Manitoba. During her Golden Jubilee in 2002, on the steps of the Manitoba legislature, a young girl presented flowers to her. It was my niece Holly. It is something our family is incredibly proud of. She got to meet Her Majesty and present the flowers. October 8, 2002, will always be marked in her memory and our family's memory.

The Queen returned to Manitoba in July 2010 to unveil the cornerstone of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the first Canadian museum to be established outside of the capital region. She brought with her the cornerstone that came from the same region of England where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. She was dedicated to human rights. If we look at her career and the work that she did all over the world, we see that often it was focused on protecting human rights. She made sure to point out, when she was unveiling that rock, that the Magna Carta is where our modern parliamentary democracy was established, where civil liberties came into play, and where we, as commoners, finally had a franchise in our own governance. That was something she wanted to make sure was focused and centred in our own Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

As Canada and the world mourns our beloved sovereign, we also look to the future. I had the pleasure to meet her son, King Charles III, who now sits as King of Canada, a number of years ago, in March of 2006, during Commonwealth Day celebrations in London. I was there with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's Westminster Seminar. We attended and got to meet King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla. I can tell everyone it was something I will never forget. He was incredibly engaging and very easy to speak to.

May King Charles be blessed with wisdom and exercise justice and mercy, and may he live long. May Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace. God save the Queen and God bless Canada.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2:35 p.m.


Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Madam Speaker, at Her Majesty's coronation on June 2, 1953, the following sublimely optimistic, traditional formula was repeated: “God bless Queen Elizabeth. God save Queen Elizabeth. May the Queen live forever.”

So long was our late Queen on the throne that it felt almost as if her reign really never would end, and it seemed possible to hope that the Queen really could live forever. She became so intimately woven into our memories that it felt to many people around the world as if she were a member of our own families. I think this happened not just because of the length of her reign, but also because she celebrated with us at every important event in our nation's life and mourned with her subjects at so many collective tragedies.

Her reign started long before most of us were born. When, as a teenager, I first saw her in person at the 1982 event here on Parliament Hill where she affixed her signature to Canada's new Constitution Act, which includes the Charter of Rights, she had already celebrated her Silver Jubilee for 25 years on the throne. From my youthful perspective, she was already an eternal presence.

This same perspective is very much the same for anybody who was less than kindergarten age when the Queen ascended to the throne, which means, demographically, over 90% of the Canadian population and an even higher percentage in some other Commonwealth jurisdictions. There simply is no time in our memories when Queen Elizabeth was not there. She was even woven into pop culture, referred to in songs by the Beatles and Dire Straits among many others. It was in this way that she came to feel like a member of the family to so many people who had never actually met her.

A year ago, when my own mother was in her final days, she kept a framed photo of the Queen at her bedside, just as we learned from the Beatles' song Penny Lane that in the pocket of the fireman was a portrait of the Queen. Her presence, even if it was only in our imaginations, was a comfort. Does it make sense to act as if someone we have only ever seen from a distance is a member of our own family? I do not know. Nothing about human emotions seems logical when we try to examine them logically as opposed to emotionally. However, whether we humans are rational or not, her loss feels to so many of us like the personal blow it is to those who really did know her first-hand.

Of course this circle includes our new King, His Majesty King Charles III. Like his mother before him, and a long line of ancestors before that, he faces the difficult task of assuming the duties that will occupy him for the rest of his life at a moment of great personal loss, and must step into his constitutional role precisely when the rest of us would be in a position to take bereavement leave. There is no reason to envy our monarchs for the terrible burdens they must bear. Under our system, a monarch wears the crown for life and death alone can free them of their duties. As difficult as it is for those who must bear the heavy burden of the crown, it is one aspect of the genius of monarchy that the throne is never vacant and that Charles reigned from the moment the late Queen passed from this life into the arms of her own sovereign.

In his first address as our King, His Majesty made the following observation about his late mother. He stated, “In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples.”

His Majesty went on in his speech to make some very apt remarks on the Queen's unparalleled commitment to this extraordinary long-ago promise. Then he added this: “As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.”

Even though, when viewed from the perspective of 1947, the day when she would assume the throne must have seemed to be far away for Princess Elizabeth, it was no small matter to make such a promise on the very day that she achieved the age of majority. It seems to me, and I think to anybody who stops to reflect for a moment, that it is no less extraordinary for a man of 73, to whom the burdens of age are no secret, to make a similar lifetime commitment. The fact that our new King was willing to so firmly embrace this burden, from which he will never be free, and to deny himself for the rest of his life the pleasures of retirement that are enjoyed, for example, by the former monarchs of Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, is a sign that his commitment to duty is as firm as was Queen Elizabeth's, and for that matter as firm as that of his grandfather King George VI, who was such a courageous and steadfast leader during the darkest days of the Second World War.

I think King Charles will be a good king. The King has already demonstrated himself, more than any preceding Prince of Wales, to be a conscientious servant of all his peoples throughout the Commonwealth. He is intelligent. He is hard-working. His wife and consort, Her Majesty Queen Camilla, is an ideal partner. Of course, he has had an entire lifetime to learn from the best possible role model.

The King is a man of no small accomplishment. He is an author. He is a skilled watercolourist. I was once given a book of his landscape paintings as a Christmas present. He is a businessman as well, establishing the successful brand of high-quality organic products known as Duchy Originals. The profits from these sales, by the way, are donated to the Prince's Charities, which the King built into a formidable network of charitable giving during his long tenure as the Prince of Wales. I assume that at his coronation, which will take place sometime in 2023, the formula will be repeated: “God bless King Charles. God save King Charles. May the King live forever.”

Given the longevity of both his parents and of his grandmother, the much-loved Queen Mum, who passed away only after her 100th birthday, there is every reason to hope that his reign too, by modern or historical standards, will be a long one, if not as long as the extraordinary example set by his mother.

However, like all reigns, it starts in sorrow. The Queen is dead and there will be a permanent hollow place in millions of hearts across the planet, as there always is when someone loved is taken from us.

God bless our departed Queen. I hope she knew how much she was loved by all those people she was never able to meet in her lifetime.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2:40 p.m.


Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—Saint-Lambert, QC

Madam Speaker, I do not wish to thank my colleague who just spoke because he had me in tears before I even began my speech.

I would like to begin by extending my deepest condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the entire royal family, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This is a very deep loss for the family, a tragedy that affects them all, and they are top of mind as I speak today.

Much of what was said by my colleague from Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston reflects my own thoughts. He put into words many of my feelings about Her Majesty and her long, successful life, which she so incredibly dedicated to the service of others. Her Majesty was very generous with her time, her talents and, most importantly, her humanity. What I will remember most about Her Majesty is the humanity she always showed.

She was a woman who inspired others through her actions. She did not make many speeches and, as we know, she never gave interviews. She inspired others with her actions, which spoke for themselves.

First, in 1952, she took on a huge responsibility following the tragic loss of her father. Young as she was, she assumed this role with great resolve. Sir Winston Churchill was her first prime minister, and he clearly helped her learn about her role and responsibilities. Over the years, she was able to assert her view of the role and the duties she had to fulfill. In that regard, she was an amazing role model for women who were beginning to come into their own in the post-war years and take their place in society in the hope of coming ever closer to gender equality.

My whole life, I was inspired by everything Her Majesty was able to convey through actions rather than words. She was a woman who knew how to use symbolism in a very subtle but eloquent way. I admire her deeply.

I especially admire her for her visit to Ireland in 2011. It was the first time a British monarch had visited the Republic of Ireland since independence. The strained relationship between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom is common knowledge, but it was important to the Queen that the visit be carried out in a spirit of reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in order to achieve peace at last and reconcile the entire island of Ireland.

I have heard the speeches that have been made both in Ireland and Northern Ireland since Her Majesty's passing, and I am extremely moved to see the extraordinary impact her visit had on relations between the north, the south and the republic. It was courageous of Her Majesty to take that trip and say a few words in Gaelic. That was the olive branch the Irish had been waiting for for so long.

On a lighter note, I want to mention one event that was particularly important during her reign as Queen of Canada. That was the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which occurred in April 1959 in the town of Saint-Lambert, in the riding I represent.

The St. Lawrence Seaway was key to Canada's development, and Her Majesty's presence at its inauguration was a testament to its importance. My constituents treasure the happy memory of that visit.

As an animal lover myself, I want to speak to Her Majesty's affection for her dogs, her corgis, and for horses. Everyone knew how much she loved animals and what great joy they brought her. Her relationship with her dogs was particularly delightful to see.

People saw she was most relaxed when she had the dogs around her or when she was around horses. I absolutely think we should not forget those lighter sides of Her Majesty because they helped her be the human Queen we so loved. We will remember that for a very long time.

The principle of constitutional monarchy has always resonated with me. Our Queen strengthened that significantly.

For the past 44 years, I have had the good fortune to live in Canada and, for all those years, I have had the good fortune to have Queen Elizabeth II as my sovereign. I was not born a Canadian, but I became one and swore my allegiance to the Queen. I now swear my allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III, who became King of Canada on September 8. Our King is exceptionally well prepared for the role he will take on in the coming years.

I would echo the previous speaker in saying that we wish him a very long reign informed by all the experience he has acquired over the years, particularly in two areas in which Canada is working very hard: the climate emergency and reconciliation with indigenous peoples. I think His Majesty has a very good understanding of the policies Canada wants to implement in those two areas. I wish to reiterate my allegiance to him as he begins his reign.

I want to conclude with some words I shared when we celebrated the Platinum Jubilee this past February. Over the course of her 70 years as Queen, she remained steadfast in her reign over a society that is constantly evolving, which I think is quite notable.

Her Majesty honoured her engagement to a life of service like few others. My admiration for her, her steadfastness, as well as her capacity to meet the times is boundless.

May Her Majesty rest in peace. Long live the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2:50 p.m.


Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to pay tribute, on behalf of my constituents, to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, who passed away after 70 years of devoted service to the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and certainly to Canada.

Her death has been a devastating heartbreak for millions of people around the world. Very poetically, on the day she died, I noticed on social media many photos of a double rainbow that appeared that very day right above Buckingham Palace. Much of the popular commentary is that perhaps it was a message from God that our Queen had been reunited with her Prince Philip, her husband of over 70 years, whom she called her “strength and stay”. That was just a lovely thing to happen on that otherwise very devastating day for many people.

As many people have seen, there was a magical sense about the Queen. Peter Mansbridge recently said on his podcast that the monarch, the Queen, was “this kind of magic mix of fairytale and history”. I thought that was put very nicely.

For our family, the Queen was part of our cultural heritage and the discussions we would have. There was certainly an admiration and appreciation for Her Majesty. My maternal grandmother mentioned that she used to cut out photos of the Queen in her younger years, to see the outfit she was wearing, what she was saying, how she was acting and what she was doing. It is almost the equivalent to modern-day's Pinterest. There are likely many of us who have pinned an outfit or two of the younger royals. My grandmother was doing the very same thing 70 years ago out of admiration for Her Majesty.

My paternal grandmother, who greatly admired the Queen, would always affectionately tease us to show her love. If we were dressed up for church or for a family gathering, she would say, “Oh, is Queen Elizabeth coming?” It was her way of giving us the highest possible compliment that we looked very lovely.

My mother, like many women her age, greatly admired Princess Diana. For my generation, of course, there are many new younger royals, notably the Princess of Wales, Catherine Windsor, who really sets a standard of decorum and professionalism and respectability whom those before her have done for well over 70 years.

Beyond a distant admiration, it was not something that was necessarily a cornerstone of my professional life or personal life until I swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen, which all members of Parliament have to do in order to become members of Parliament. Really, when I said those words, “I, Raquel Dancho, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”, the enormity of the responsibility I was assuming hit me like a waterfall. That is where the clock really started to turn and I thought about what this really meant. What is my duty that I am swearing an oath to uphold? Certainly, I look to the Queen as an example. She was certainly the living embodiment of our ancient institutions, our symbols, our parliamentary traditions, our culture, our history, and again, our Canadian and Commonwealth values.

I saw, in swearing my oath, that I was swearing to uphold those traditions and those values. Certainly, it is not always easy. The Queen made it look very easy. She did it for 70 years and, certainly, led by example.

Members of Parliament, of course, have our own duties to uphold those values and traditions.

Queen Elizabeth II was like no other historical figure. Her impact will be felt for many lifetimes to come. It will likely never be repeated, what she was able to accomplish.

She was born in 1926 as part of the world's greatest generation that was defined and shaped by the hardships of the Great Depression and the world wars. She personified the moral standards of the western world and Judeo-Christian values.

When I found out that she had died, I felt a deep sense of sorrow but also a feeling of some frustration, an anxious feeling. It was as though the standard bearer of those values was now lost, and our ability to uphold those values in society was slipping away, the ability for us to prosper and to thrive, which depends on those values, right along with it.

We know that the Queen stood for dignity, for hard work, for doing one's duty, for embracing public service. She never complained, no matter the struggles of the day, whether they were public struggles or ones in her personal life. She always kept a stiff upper lip, as the British say, and maintained her calm composure with grace. She was resilient and strong. She never played the victim. She never exhibited narcissism in any way. She was dedicated, stately, honest, decent and was an absolute lady of decorum, good taste and propriety, rarely, if ever, having a misstep in her seven decades of her reign. It is truly remarkable.

I think that is why millions of us are going to miss her. We need examples like this for ourselves, for our children, for our politicians and for our communities.

In 1947 on her 21st birthday, famously she did a radio broadcast heard around the world where she made a vow. She said, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service,” and she stuck to that vow for the rest of her life. I think it is pretty difficult for anyone to imagine making a promise at 21 and living up to it with such perfection for 70 years.

She always had poignant words of wisdom for all of us. I really loved her Christmas speeches, and I am really going to miss those.

In 2008 she said, “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.” Then, during the early days of the pandemic, she shared with all of us, “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again,” and she was absolutely right.

She was always calm and composed, no matter what was going on in the world. She was really a port in the storm, so to speak. She was truly an extraordinary role model for her people, for members of Parliament and certainly for women. At the tender age of 25, she became Queen with the world watching. Many underestimated her abilities. Many thought a young woman would never be capable of the enormous responsibility of carrying over a thousand years of constitutional tradition and evolution that makes up our system of government, but she did and she became one of the greatest world leaders we have ever seen.

Although she was a servant of tradition, she was also a modern woman in her own right. During World War II, as princess, she volunteered as a truck driver and a mechanic, making her the first female member of the royal family to serve in the military. Her coronation was a significant moment for women in history. Women at that time rarely saw women in positions of power. After years of war, women at that time were being encouraged to go back home and be dutiful wives and mothers, but the Queen was expected to know world issues and to be able to converse with and advise the mostly male leadership at the time. She was expected to travel despite having young children. She was a working mother before it was fashionable.

For 70 years, it has been her face we have seen in the halls of power, something women have rarely seen. As was written in a recent Globe and Mail story:

She was also the rare woman who grew old while holding public power. The Queen, after all, could not be fired for having children or going grey. Instead, in official portraits her countenance was updated to mark her advancing years and accruing experience. She aged into her leadership example of being unflappable and resolute....

I found a few very poignant quotes for us to remember as we go into this new parliamentary session. In her 1957 and 1974 Christmas broadcasts respectively, she said, “It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult,” and, “We may hold different points of view but it is in times of stress and difficulty that we most need to remember that we have much more in common than there is dividing us.”

On this very solemn occasion, I want to conclude on a happier note. Something that has comforted us in the recent days is that she certainly has been reunited with Prince Philip, her husband of 70-plus years. He was her strength and stay, and I think that she was ours.

We will miss her. I will certainly miss her.

God save the Queen.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

3 p.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia


Mike Kelloway LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries

Madam Speaker, like my colleagues in the House, it is with an extremely heavy heart that I rise today to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II.

When the news broke of Her Majesty's passing, I was in the middle of a five-hour drive to meet Atlantic colleagues, and I spent the remainder of the drive reflecting on the role Queen Elizabeth II played in our country, the Commonwealth and, in fact, the world.

What we have heard today is so true. She was a constant. She was a beacon of peace for many of us. During times of uncertainty and indeed fear, there was a calmness she brought to remind us of the importance of humility, service, dignity and togetherness.

Having ruled longer than any other monarch in Canada's history, Her Majesty linked Canadians with more than two billion people worldwide, symbolizing collaboration and celebrating diversity.

In her visits to Canada, Her Majesty visited my home, Cape Breton Island, on three separate occasions: in 1951, 1959 and 1994. During these royal visits to Cape Breton, the Queen left a lasting impression on all residents. I would like to read into the record some of the memories folks from Cape Breton have of Her Majesty, as published by David Jala in the Cape Breton Post following the Queen's passing.

Former lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, who is originally from Cape Breton, remembers Her Majesty as “someone who was quite open and accepting of diversity, of differences in colour, differences in gender.”

Manning MacDonald, former mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, or CBRM, hosted the Queen and Prince Philip during the Queen's last visit to Cape Breton in 1994. Mr. MacDonald recalled her to be a great conversationalist. He stated, “When you were talking with her it was as if she was talking to you alone. She was very easy to speak with. She made me very comfortable.”

It is memories like these that will continue to live on for years to come and will remind us of Her Majesty's reign and presence in our country as we move forward in this next chapter of Canada's history.

Despite her passing, I have no doubt that Canadians will continue to remember Her Majesty for her warmth, compassion, strong sense of tradition and service to Canada.

On behalf of my constituents of Cape Breton-Canso, I offer our most sincere condolences to the royal family during this difficult time.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

3 p.m.


Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to join in on this solemn and sombre occasion. It is an interesting way for all of us to gather here after a summer break, to gather in a non-partisan way to recognize and honour an individual who is worth honouring. In our world that is an increasingly rare and difficult thing.

We look back over what is, for many of us, an unimaginable length of time, 70 years being on the throne. It is an honour as a farmer from a small town in Alberta to be able to stand on behalf of the people I represent to honour someone who was so personally known, who we may not have had a personal relationship with but who was so very personally known.

I took some time over the last week to watch some of the speeches that were made in our mother Parliament, in London, at the Palace of Westminster, hearing reflections of current and past prime ministers, individuals from across the United Kingdom talking about their experiences. Likewise today, and across the Commonwealth, individuals are taking the time to honour the legacy, honour the service and honour the individual who personified so much of who we are as a people.

I stand here today to honour that individual, Her late Majesty. There was a note that really stood out to me from one of the speeches made in the Palace of Westminster, that rings true to me as a Canadian and a member of the Commonwealth. The statement was made to the world that Queen Elizabeth was known as the Queen, but to us she was our Queen. It is that personal connection that has been talked about so much over the last week or so, with so many individuals and constituents reaching out to share their stories about how they saw or interacted with Her Majesty in earlier years.

A campaign volunteer shared the story of how, when she was a little girl, having survived scarlet fever, she had the opportunity to sit beside and be encouraged by Her Majesty in the small city of Lethbridge during one of her early tours.

I heard from others who looked to her Christmas messages. I and many around the world will miss having the opportunity to listen to those encouraging messages, whether they got those words in times of crisis or whether they had the opportunity to celebrate. Many received a message for their 100th birthday. I know my late great-grandfather received that message from Her Majesty. As a former Brit who emigrated to Canada to farm, it was an incredible powerful moment.

There are so many, I would suggest millions, of personal connections, and that is profound in a world that is increasingly not personal.

That leads me to the next observation that I would make, and that is that Her Majesty was so unbelievably present, not only as a monarch, as our Queen in the midst of a changing world, but present with every individual she met. That is a trait that I honour today. When she was with somebody, whether in a hospital, speaking with a veteran or making a joke about her age, as has often been the case, especially as many of the leaders she has interacted with have been significantly younger than her, she was always so present in the moment of interaction.

She was present in all of our lives in so very many ways, such as when she would look at a television camera. She was an early adopter of some Canadian technology known as the Blackberry, although it is not necessarily modern technology anymore. She used a Blackberry to interact with her family members and stay connected with the world. She was unbelievably present.

I have another observation that I believe is profound and worthy of honour from today's perspective.

My wife and I often have a conversation about who, whether past or present, we would love to sit down and have coffee with. When Danielle and I have these conversations, it's figures from long past, some individuals who are alive today and some who have more recently passed, but always it seems Danielle and I will come back to wanting to spend time with and to hear stories from our Queen.

On a practical level, she became Queen when Winston Churchill was prime minister, in a country ravaged by war, which was rebuilding and had significant economic challenges. Just days before she passed away, personifying the definition of service, she swore in her 15th British prime minister. It is hard to imagine the perspective associated with that. Having heard anecdotes from different British prime ministers over time, including some who went into the job not quite sure how they thought about the monarchy but learning quickly that its value as an institution, her value and that of the perspective she shared was so profound that it was worthy of being listened to, we honour our late Queen today.

We have a system of government that is quite different from that of our neighbours to the south. Through Hollywood and television, I would suggest that it is not necessarily always as well understood as it should be. However, prior to being elected, I was asked a question by a student who happened to have watched a movie that was popular at the time, which had to do with some of the founding documents of the United States. A comment was made about why they would hold those documents in a nuclear bomb-proof bunker. The student asked me this question, which was somewhat of an observation: “Why is that necessary? If that's necessary for them in the United States, why is that not necessary for us?”

My reply, and I share this observation with the House today, is that while the United States is a republic with strong constitutional documents, and of course the history associated with that, in Canada we do not necessarily have that. Although we have written aspects of our Constitution, much of it is unwritten, and I hope that we in this place understand that. A lot of that tradition is not necessarily in a document like that of our neighbours to the south, but rather in the personification of the institutions that we have.

A big part of that is Her Majesty, whether it is her life of service, from that of a princess, to being a veteran, to of course the monarch we know, and being a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, an aunt and an influence to so many. So much of our country, nearly half of the time our nation has existed, was fostered and has grown under her rule. These are powerful things for a woman who stewarded, I would suggest, one of the toughest jobs in the world. On a practical note, while many monarchs and monarchies around the world were dissolving, falling out of touch or being taken away altogether, we saw her impact remain.

As we have come to the conclusion of the second Elizabethan era, as has been observed by many in this place with touching tributes from most parties represented here, we have reason to pause and reflect about what that means for each and every one of us. It means those personal interactions and the impact they have on our institutions, from the mace, representing the power of the Crown being transferred to the people and pointing towards the government, to the coat of arms, and to everything we touch as members of the Commonwealth and having a Westminster-style democracy.

On a personal note, I will conclude with this. The Queen had a powerful and very strong faith. That certainly has been an inspiration to me in my faith journey, so I will note a couple Bible versus here today.

Psalm 78:72 says, “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led them.” I cannot think of a better comparison to bring to this place today to note how well the Queen led her people over these last seven decades.

Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.” The counsel our Queen provided during times of upheaval and during times of peace speaks to the influence and mark she has left on our nation.

On behalf of Danielle, my boys and myself, and the people of Battle River—Crowfoot, I pay honour to our Queen in the people's House of Commons here today. I wish King Charles every success as our King. With that, and with what I know would be our Queen's wishes, I say God save the King.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

3:15 p.m.


Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Madam Speaker, it is truly an honour today to join the acknowledgements for Queen Elizabeth II. Before I make my brief comments, I want to acknowledge the tragedy in Saskatchewan and the loss of two police officers in the GTA in the last few days. What a tremendous loss that is for communities at large in both parts of our country.

I stand today on behalf of the residents of Humber River—Black Creek and the residents of Toronto to acknowledge the tremendous loss we have had in losing the Queen, our Queen. I grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick, and my grandmother and aunts were tremendously fond of the Queen. They would often talk about what she was wearing this day and that day, but most especially they talked about the hats she had on. The visual was the hat she had on, but what was not so visible were the many hats she carried every single day in order for the world we live in, 70 years ago and today, to move forward in a peaceful fashion.

The fact is, she was constantly solid. She never looked frazzled and never seemed to let on the amount of tragedy that she was probably trying to cope with in her own life. She always looked together. She always looked like someone we could depend on to be there as the head of the Commonwealth and to move our many areas forward in so many different ways given what we had to deal with. Never did we see the Queen looking as if she did not have the answers. She always seemed to have the answers when it was necessary to move us forward.

I think back to 70 years ago when the Queen was asked to become the Queen and the leadership she showed in those many years. Long before it became the in thing for women to be recognized, she was put in that position as a woman and showed a tremendous amount of leadership that made us all proud. For forever and a day, we will always hold up Queen Elizabeth as a true leader and as true a feminist as we might want to call anyone. As we move forward on all of our issues, we will always look back and say she was the first who really stood out there in a strong, powerful way as a female to lead our countries and our Commonwealth forward.

I want to thank her again on behalf of all of the residents of Humber River—Black Creek for her lifelong commitment to Canada.

To make a lifelong commitment to public service, as she did, we are asked to make a commitment and we accept that challenge. However, for us it is two years, three years or four years; it is not 70 years. Her commitment never moved. She made that commitment and continued with it so many times.

All of us very much depended on her to be our Queen. The fact is that she visited Canada many times, and it meant so much to residents and Canadians that the Queen was coming to visit. It certainly was a big deal 50 years, and I think it was still a big deal today when the Queen was going to come and visit. Her commitment and devotion to all of us as members of the Commonwealth, but also to world peace and the many endeavours she put forward to make a difference in the world, were important.

It is with very heavy hearts that we realize legends have to pass away too, but I believe the Queen's legacy and leadership will live forever for all of us. A whole era has passed, almost a century of life. Her wisdom, her strength and her dedication guided the Commonwealth and all of its people for 70 years of Her Majesty's reign. The strength that she demonstrated publicly, dealing with the many tragedies that she had to deal with in her lifetime, was an example of strength for all of us.

The Queen once said in her Christmas message, as my colleagues have mentioned already, “Each day is a new beginning”. As I say those words, I can hear her saying them. She said them often, and I think it is a message for all of us:

Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.

This is the kind of sentiment that would be nice for all of us to say at the beginning of every day, especially in the House of Commons. It might help guide us all to do the important work we want to do and do what is right every single day. It is not always about being politically right, but doing what is right for Canadians and what is right for ourselves. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror, and I suggest that when the Queen, our Queen, looked in the mirror, she was satisfied because she gave it all to all of us.

I wish our new King, King Charles III, luck, success and peace as he takes on a very, very challenging job. We will be there for him as we were there for our Queen.

God bless King Charles III and may our Queen rest in peace.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

3:20 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Before I go to the next speaker, I want to take a couple of moments to welcome some new faces we have in the House of Commons today. If members notice, a number of new pages have joined us, all of them of a new crop in 2022. If members see pages they have not seen before, introduce yourselves to say hello, because we are really glad to have them here helping us out in the House of Commons.

Continuing debate, the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill.

Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—Address of Sympathy and Loyalty to His Majesty King Charles IIIHer Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

3:20 p.m.


Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, in putting words to the legacy of the second Elizabethan age, most world leaders have noted that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a constant during changing times, yet when she spoke to the purpose of life, the Queen quoted an Australian proverb that spoke to how change is fundamental to the human condition: “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love...and then we return home.”

This is the paradox Queen Elizabeth's reign presents us. How was it that she experienced so much change during her long life of service, but was able to create a legacy that defined constancy as a thing of beauty that should be aspired to? How is it that a women, of whom so very few history remembers fondly or without crediting their successes to men, so obviously succeeded in this endeavour? The answer lies in examples that prove the opposite.

Throughout human history, we have been reminded that constancy can lead to failure. History is littered with leaders who enforced rigid beliefs to the detriment of their people, often to hold power or wealth for their own benefit. The constancy of these people in their selfish desires invariably has led to oppression and conflict, and history has shown that the antidote to this behaviour is temperance, the virtue of self-restraint. Temperance, thy name was Elizabeth.

The Queen, throughout her life of service, paired temperance with constancy. For over 70 years she set self aside to ensure the institutions that faith charged her with leading, the Crown, the church and her family, remained resilient through and emerged strengthened from the tumult that occurred during the historic length of her reign.

She was the Crown, and in this day of modernity the Crown remains. This is a remarkable, but critically important, accomplishment. The Crown is the foundation upon which our system of government relies, and our democracy functions because the institution our sovereign heads must be removed from the thrust and grind of daily politics. It must manage with the long view of institutional sustainability of both our democratic institutions and the Crown itself. Today I would argue that the Crown, as the institutional underpinning of our democracy, is healthy and strong, and this is a credit to the Queen.

Imagery of the virtue of temperance often shows a figure blending elements, usually hot and cold water, in a vessel. To temper a substance is to mix it with something else to render it with greater utility. In ensuring that the Crown remained relevant as the pace of history quickened in the last hundred years, she created a crucible in which some of the most volatile global conflicts could be tempered, and in ensuring that the Crown was politically neutral but essential to democracy, the Queen was able to wield a soft power that had an important role in de-escalating conflict and dismantling systems of oppression.

The level of self-restraint this must have taken was enormous. In a position of power it is much easier to defend an unjust position than it is to be an agent of compromise for progress's sake. Similarly, it is much easier to spill the seeds of change without first tilling the ground, rather than setting one's hand first to the hard work of incrementally preparing society for it to take root. The Queen did the latter of each with conviction in most crises she faced, and in doing so tempered the Crown into an institution we see as aiding future generations, as opposed to diminishing their prospects.

While I cannot possibly equivocate with the mantle of responsibility the Queen bore over 70 years, in my time in Parliament I have become well acquainted with the self-discipline required to refrain from selfish actions in a leadership role. There have been many times when the best course of action for the people I represent is to remove myself from the grind of a polarizing political approach out of respect for the office I occupy or when doing the right thing has not been the easy or popular course of action. In this regard I have both succeeded and failed, but particularly when I have succeeded, I have been struck by the feelings of loneliness that self-restraint in leadership can bring, particularly as a young woman learning the lessons of governance while being in a governing role. In that, I wonder if the Queen ever felt the same way.

I am reminded that the Queen was also the head of her church and that she referred to her faith as the anchor in her life. In her vow of service, she asked her God to help her make good in her vow of service as monarch. In her temperance, she lived her faith with constancy, and in doing so did credit to the case for humanity to set itself to acting with higher purpose than self. She also exemplified that when we focus on a purpose higher than our own needs we never truly are alone, and I cannot think of a better defence of any faith than that.

In recent years I have found kinship with the Queen in another regard, and this kinship is perhaps the greatest for us all. When asked about family life, the Queen said, “I can answer with simplicity and conviction: I am for it.”

The role Queen Elizabeth played in the institution of her own family was also clearly marked by temperance, and must have been so, because any woman who has raised children will tell us motherhood is already synonymous with selflessness. Women will attribute their successes in child-rearing to moments when they set aside self for the betterment of their children.

However, as a woman who is raising children, I can also say that when I have failed with children under my charge it has been when my temperance has faltered. These are instances when I have been baited into anger, when my actions have caused my children shame or when my desire to avoid conflict stopped me from issuing discipline. However, I have not had to be a mother with the eyes of the world upon me and my motherhood measured against the prospect of the suitability of my children to take on the leadership of one of the most powerful institutions in human history. The Queen bore this responsibility without ever overtly seeking to sway public opinion on her role and her family. How difficult this must have been for all involved, yet somehow grace has prevailed.

It is also difficult to be both wife and institutional leader. While how society views gender roles has changed in the last century, many of the societal mores that dictate how women are to be in marriage must have weighed on the Queen. Even in my short tenure as member of Parliament, I have certainly struggled with imbalance in this regard. However, sometimes fate offers us gifts by way of sending us a partner who bolsters our temperance when we lack it. I am sure the Queen felt this way about Prince Philip.

The maturity of character the Queen demonstrated in nurturing her family must also be set against the reality that she was simultaneously grooming her heirs for the sake of the Crown. During the last century of change, many families have been broken. While the royal family has not been immune from storms during the tenure of the Queen, that through temperance they survived them is a mark of their humanity and not of their failure.

As a citizen of the Commonwealth, I am profoundly grateful the Queen is succeeded by three generations of heirs who both clearly loved her as a familial matriarch and through their own actions have demonstrated that they too embrace temperance as a virtue in the Crown, faith and family. I suspect that would be the true measure by which the Queen measured her success in her life of service.

As the world marks the end of the second Elizabethan age, many will be feeling a profound heaviness, as I am. I believe the world is grieving as it is because it is apparent the burden of temperate constancy the Queen shoulders now falls to others. In that, we pray for the health and wisdom of our new sovereign, His Majesty King Charles III, his Queen Consort and the entire royal family as they both mourn and take on new mantles of leadership.

I pray for us all. As a privy councillor, I swore an oath to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Queen and her heirs and successors. On some days in this place, I have felt my actions have done credit to her temperance, and on some days I know they have not. In those moments, I know that during these uncertain times I bear the duty and responsibility to temper my actions with selflessness, as do we all. The health of our democracy and society depends upon it.

May the Queen rest in the peace provided by our collective commitment to take up this torch. Today, on behalf of the people of Calgary Nose Hill, I recommit to my oath to do the same. Long live the King.