The Harper government’s Minister of Citizenship, Jason Kennedy, spoke on behalf of his colleagues.
“Her Majesty’s life has been the history of Canada,” he said. “She has known personally every prime minister since Mackenzie King who she first met as Princess Elizabeth in London in the 1930s. While it is not known if she met R.B. Bennett, she did meet Arthur Meighen during the 1951 and 1959 Royal tours. Canada has had 22 prime ministers up to today and the Queen has known 13 of them, more than half of all the prime ministers in the history of Canada since we re-founded our country with Dominion status in 1867.”
Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer, paid tribute to Her Majesty on behalf of the NDP.
“As a Canadian of 56 years old, living under Queen Elizabeth as the monarch of Canada has been truly a wondrous thing,” he said. “Coming from the Netherlands, I gave up an oath to one queen to give a pledge of allegiance to another queen, and it is really quite something. I did it without hesitation. As we say, I am a Dutchman by birth, but a Canadian by choice. I am deeply honoured that Canada has retained the ties to the Crown, because it is the Crown that is the symbol of our history and of our direction.”
Liberal interim leader Bob Rae, now Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke on behalf of his party.
“Those of us who have watched the Queen when she has come to Canada and those of us who have had an opportunity to meet her and speak with her and the members of her family have always been struck, certainly I have, by the enormous sense of intelligent engagement, great affection and deep knowledge that Her Majesty has for this country,” he said.