Prime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to London next week to attend the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney will join him.
Mr. Harper’s director of communications, Andrew MacDougall, confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that his boss would lead the Canadian delegation.
The Canadian Prime Minister signed the book of condolences for Lady Thatcher at the British High Commission in Ottawa. In it he wrote: “Canada deeply mourns the passing of Margaret Thatcher, a great friend of our country. Hers was a leadership example for the ages, from which we all benefit to this day – and will for many more to come.”
Mr. Harper has said Lady Thatcher defined contemporary conservatism and was a truly historic figure who will be remembered for centuries to come.
Mr. Mulroney, who was the Canadian prime minister for six of the years that Lady Thatcher was in office and, like her, was a Conservative – Progressive Conservative in Mr. Mulroney’s case – holds a deep affection for the woman with whom he occasionally sparred.
“In a friendship that extended over 30 years, I argued passionately with Margaret Thatcher, I fought with her, and I won and lost battles with her,” he said in an essay written for The Globe and Mail. “But at the same time, I loved Margaret Thatcher.”
Other Canadians may be added to the funeral delegation in the coming days.
The funeral will be held on April 17 at St. Paul's Cathedral. The Queen and Prince Philip will also be in attendance – the first time the Queen has honoured one of her prime ministers in such a fashion since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965.