Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau
The state funeral was executed by the RCMP, in accordance to the funeral section of the RCMP Ceremonial and Protocol Guide.
When Canadians woke up on the morning of Thursday, September 28, 2000, the front-page headlines on Canadian newspapers included the Olympics in Sydney and election fever on both sides of the border. In Canada, a possible fall election call by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, which might make him the longest serving leader among Western democratic countries at noon ET, January 20, 2001, because U.S. President Bill Clinton was leaving office at that time. In the U.S., in another five days, would come the first presidential debate between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Republican Governor George W. Bush.
CBC was airing the Olympics when when the following words came through:
"Justin and Sacha Trudeau deeply regret to inform you that their father, the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau, passed away shortly after 3:00 p.m. today, September 28, 2000. In addition to Parkinson's disease, Mr. Trudeau suffered from prostate cancer. Funeral arrangements are being prepared and the details will be provided as soon as they are finalized."
People knew Trudeau had been ill for a while and the three words, "Trudeau is dead," had been expected for weeks.
For Peter Mansbridge, CBC chief correspondent, the words shocked him, because he had covered Trudeau when a reporter in the network's Ottawa bureau. He had to confirm the rumor that Trudeau had died. It took half a dozen phone calls and 45 minutes. Once confirmed, he broke into the network's coverage of the Olympics, breaking the news to Canadians that Trudeau had died. When Trudeau died at his home in Montreal, his surviving sons and his former wife, Margaret were at his side. Mansbridge's announcement then came on the wires of the Associated Press.
The news shocked millions of Canadians and there were many tributes to the former prime minister from many people on the news of his passing in Montreal.   People started to arrive at Trudeau's home and set up a makeshift memorial at the front steps.  Chrétien was on his way to Jamaica for a meeting with Caribbean heads of state when he heard the news. On arrival, he made a statement and returned to Ottawa.  News of Trudeau's death also put plans for an election on hold, since a time for mourning a leader is a time to be together. 
The government ordered flags on the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, across Canada, and around the world flown at half-staff until sunset the day of the funeral. In Sydney, there were tributes from the Canadian athletes. There were also tributes from world leaders, including the queen and Clinton .   
The situation in Canada was:
- It had been more than 20 years since a prime minister died in their country. The last one was John Diefenbaker in 1979.
- Even though there were reports that Trudeau would have a state funeral, it wouldn't be clear until sometime the following day how official Ottawa would mourn the former prime minister, whether Trudeau's body would lie in state on Parliament Hill, from where he once dominated the nation.
This was a day not just for politicans, but also for the people. The Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill, which marks Canada's birth, became the place to mark Trudeau's death.  People came with messages of condolences and tributes to Trudeau. Most of them brought roses, which was Trudeau's symbol.
In the House of Commons, Canada's leaders paid tribute, beginning with the prime minister,   who lost a close friend and mentor. Opposition Leader Stockwell Day , Progressive Conservative Leader Joe Clark, a former prime minister , NDP Leader Alexa McDonough,  and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe also did the same . Like the day before and in the days afterward, MP's paid tribute in different ways. Many of them, including Chrétien, on this sitting, wore roses to pay tribute.   For Chretien and Clark, this sitting had quite a meaning for them. They both were MP's in 1973 when Trudeau paid tribute to former U.S. president Harry Truman in the House of Commons.
After the tributes were paid, the House of Commons adjourned out of respect until October 4, the day after the state funeral. Trudeau would be lying in state in the Hall of Honour during the next two days,  before his body leaves one last time for Montreal, where the state funeral would be held.
Canadians understood that state funerals are entitled to governor generals and prime ministers This would be seeing the 3rd state funeral in 10 years within their borders. The previous two were for governor generals: Roland Michener (1991) and Jeanne Sauve (1993). The last state funeral for a prime minister was for John Diefenbaker in 1979, a ceremony Trudeau himself attended.
This Saturday was like no other. Trudeau's body was flown to Ottawa on a Canadian Forces jet. On arrival, it was removed from the plane by an RCMP honour guard, driven by hearse in a simple procession through the streets of the nation's capital, and onto Parliament Hill where he dominated during his 16 years as prime minister and dominated once more.
As his casket, draped in the maple leaf arrived on the hill, the Peace Tower bell tolled 81 times, one for each year of Trudeau's life (Trudeau was 80 when he died, but the bell tolled 81 times because he died three weeks short of his 81st birthday).  
Once more, his family--former wife, Margaret and the two surviving sons, Sacha and Justin--was grief-stricken. Two years ago, they said good-bye to Trudeau's youngest son, Michel, who died in an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies.
Trudeau's casket was carried into the Hall of Honour to lie in state by an honour guard of Mounties. The family felt that many Canadians wanted to join in and thus, agreed to the public honours. In the Hall of Honour, the family spent some private moments, before Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul, and Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his wife, Aline, paid their respects. After they paid their respects, the dignitaries, which included senators, MP's, and the diplomatic corps, paid their respects paid their respects during the next hour.
After the dignitaries paid their respects, the doors of Parliament Hill were open to those who were outside when the hearse containing Trudeau's body arrived on the hill. The doors opened at 12:00 ET (17:00 UTC), about two hours after the hearse arrived.
The people in line all had words of sadness, reflection, and appreciation for Trudeau. The doors were supposed to close at 23:00 ET (03:00 UTC). However, after police officers toured the lines, they announced that no one in line would be denied access despite the 23:00 (01:00 UTC) deadline and that everyone in line would be assured access.  It was at around 3:00 in the morning (07:00 UTC) when the doors closed. 
At they were waiting in line, people saw the Centennial Flame, which had become a shrine. People made it a makeshift memorial to Trudeau. 
This was the second day of the public viewing on Parliament Hill, where the following day, the body of Pierre Trudeau would begin one last journey home, going to Montreal for the state funeral on Tuesday. The doors opened at 09:00 ET (13:00 UTC), an hour before they were scheduled to. The people in line represented a cross-section of Canada, young and old, from different backgrounds and different parts of the country, united in their grief and in their belief in the man.
People came all day and night to the hill to pay their respects to the former prime minister in the Hall of Honour. At one point, Trudeau's ex-wife, Margaret, paid a visit to the Hall of Honour.   Like the day before, some of the people in line first stopped at the Centennial Flame and paid tribute. Also, police officers toured the lines and after doing so, they decided that no one would be denied access despite the 23:00 ET (03:00 UTC) deadline and that the doors would remain open until the last person goes inside, which happened at 03:45 ET (07:45 UTC). In all, about 60,000 people went to Parliament Hill when Trudeau lay in state.
On this day, the events spread across Central Canada as the body of Pierre Trudeau made one last journey home. 
The events of the day began in Ottawa. Just hours after the doors closed, once again, the people came, there for the final, quiet moment on Parliament Hill, taking place at about 08:00 ET (14:00 UTC).
Inside, the prime minister and his wife led cabinet members into the Hall of Honour to pay their final respects.  Then the departure ceremony took place. As the two surviving Trudeau sons escorted their father's body to the hearse, a 19-gun salute was fired--each round being fired every 10 seconds--on Parliament Hill--the final tribute in the nation's capital to the departing former prime minister. At the same time, the Canadian Forces Central Band played the national anthem.
In the cortege were the Trudeau sons, the prime minister and his wife, and close friends. The band played "Auld Lang Syne" as the cortege started the journey off the hill. MP's and people in the crowd applauded when the cortege started the journey. A photographer photographed Opposition Leader Stockwell Day, members of the Canadian Alliance team, and members of the Cabinet as they were applauding.
Crowds lined the route of the cortege as it made its way from Parliament Hill to the Ottawa train station. There, the coffin was placed aboard a VIA train that would take it from Ottawa to Montreal. The Trudeau sons and close associates, among them former governor general Romeo LeBlanc, Marc Lalonde, and Roy Heenan from the law firm, Heenan-Blaike, which Trudeau joined after leaving office were on board the train.
The rails that brought Trudeau to elected office 35 years ago, to prime minister's office 32 years ago are taking him home. The prime minister and his wife watched the train as it left the train station. On board the train, the CBC's Julie Van Dusen  reported that the sons asked that the train be slowed so that the crowds along the tracks could pay their respects to the Trudeau sons. 
On arrival in Montreal, the casket was put into a hearse at the train station and taken to City Hall where crowds were waiting so that they could pay their respects to Trudeau as he lay in repose at City Hall (the deceased can only lie in state in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill). The doors opened at about 13:00 ET (17:00 UTC) and remained open until 04:00 ET (08:00 UTC) the following day because there were so many people waiting to pay their respects to a native son of Montreal. In all, about 15,000 paid their respects in Montreal .
The events of the day made one point clear: Even though Pierre Trudeau dominated politics in Ottawa from the mid-1960's to the mid-1980's, he came from Montreal.
Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica on an overcast October morning was the site of the state funeral for Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Yes, a nation mourned for 5 days. During that time, there were remarkable scenes from Ottawa to Montreal and on the train ride between those two cities.
On this day, more remarkable scenes would be added to album of the final days of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. This was the day of the state funeral, followed by a private burial in the family crypt, St-Remi-de-Napierville Cemetery, Saint-Remi, Quebec.  
About 3,000 people gathered at the basilica for the service, including Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his wife, other Canadian leaders (one of them being a former prime minister, Joe Clark), Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, MP's, senators, past and present provicial premiers, two of the other former prime ministers, John Turner and Brian Mulroney (Kim Campbell was overseas and couldn't make it ), and members of the general public. Foreign dignitaries also attended, including Cuban Leader Fidel Castro and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Some members of the public also congregated outside the basilica and watched the funeral on giant screens.  
Before going into the basilica, some of the dignitaries, including Clarkson and Chretien, gave their thoughts about Trudeau. Even though he didn't attend the state funeral, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger  appeared on the CBC Morning, CBC's morning news program then, and shared his thoughts on Trudeau in an interview with the program's anchor, Mark Kelley .
The casket was brought from City Hall, where Trudeau lay in repose. When it was driven, 10 RCMP officers, 5 on each side, walked beside the hearse.
During the funeral, the Trudeau sons spoke: Sacha gave a reading and Justin took part in eulogizing his father.
Delivering the eulogies were two family friends, Roy Heenan , and former senator Jacques Hebert , and Justin Trudeau . Heenan gave in English, Hebert gave in French, and Trudeau gave in both English and French .
After the service, as the casket was brought out the basilica and placed in the hearse for the ride to the cemetery, a 19-gun salute was fired. A piper played the lament.
Across Canada, people were tuned into the funeral and paid tribute in different ways, as they have done during the previous 5 days as a chapter in the life of Canada came to a close. 
Newsmaker of the Year
No prime minister's death has ever made that person an overwhemling choice for a Newsmaker of the Year honour by the Canadian news agency, Canadian Press (CP).
The death of Pierre Trudeau and the events that followed it, was the biggest Canadian news story in 2000. It also made Trudeau the only person to have been named Newsmaker of the Year by the CP posthumously. This was a record 10th time he had been named Newsmaker of the Year (The ten times does not include the honour of Newsmaker of the 20th Century.) Until then, the record holder for more Newsmaker of the Year honors was his predecessor, Lester Pearson.
Trudeau's two sons declined to give an interview with the CP, like their father did after he was named Newsmaker of the 20th Century the year before. However, they both said through a family spokesperson that they were "very honored" by the choice. 
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau at CANOE.CA
- CBC Coverage of the Passing of Pierre Trudeau
- CTV Coverage of the Passing of Pierre Trudeau
- Coverage in The Globe and Mail
"Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1919-2000," a home video by the CBC
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