State Funeral Deserved Says Analyst

A political analyst in Windsor says the Federal Conservatives are making a mockery of state funerals by not honouring Herb Gray with one.

State funerals are typically held for prime ministers and governors general, as well as sitting cabinet ministers. But Lloyd Brown-John points to the recent exceptions made for former finance minister Jim Flaherty and former NDP leader Jack Layton.

“They’ve got to come up with a second level that says this is a very important funeral, it’s a national funeral, or it’s a provincially significant funeral, or something of that sort,” says Brown-John. “Because these people deserve the respect, but once you set the precedent, which they did with Layton and with Flaherty, where do you draw the line.” Brown-John adds that “there are very few people in Ottawa alive today who would be fit to carry the luggage of Herb Gray, given his historic significance in Canadian politics.”

Gray served a Windsor riding for 40 years and held several cabinet posts, including deputy prime minister until he retired in 2002. He died Monday at the age of 82.