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Brian Mulroney remembered the Queen for her devotion to Canada during remarks in downtown Ottawa at a national commemorative ceremony that drew scores of politicians to the city’s Christ Church Cathedral.

“Often I have been struck by the focused interest and the goodwill of her majesty toward Canada,” the former prime minister told the ceremony Monday.

“She was also the Queen of other countries, but I think she had a more particular, more specific, a deeper love for Canada, for our diversity, our geography, and history,” Mr. Mulroney said. “Inevitably she had a thrill, an enthusiasm for the strength of the biggest and largest country of her kingdom.”

Party leaders, cabinet ministers, past governors-general and other dignitaries gathered for the proceedings watched by hundreds of people on a giant screen outside the venue. The ceremony, which also featured performances by Ginette Reno, Tomson Highway and Rufus Wainwright, was held hours after the state funeral for the monarch in England.

Mr. Mulroney recalled the Queen’s comment to former U.S. president Ronald Reagan in 1983 as she prepared to leave a California visit and head to British Columbia. He said the president asked where she was going next. “Mr. President, I am going home, to Canada,” Mr. Mulroney said in recalling the Queen’s reply.

He said the Queen, who spoke French “perfectly,” respected the history of bilingualism in Canada and the role of French Canadians in the progress of both modern Quebec and the whole of Canada, and was committed to Canadian unity.

“She was extremely intelligent, a woman of impeccable judgment, resolute, selfless, witty, very witty and kind,” he said.

Adrienne Clarkson, governor-general from 1999 to 2005, recalled visiting the Queen at the Sandringham estate country house in England, and having a quiet conversation with her after dinner.

“Suddenly, focusing very directly on me with her sharp blue eyes, she said, `I shall never abdicate.’ I was rather taken aback, and replied, `I wouldn’t have expected that you would,’ and she said, `It is not in our tradition although I suppose if I became completely ga-ga one would have to do something,” said Ms. Clarkson, prompting chuckles from the audience.

“But she held the course to the end, focused, dutiful, calm, the essence of equanimity,” she said. “Her life was guided by intention.”

Ms. Clarkson’s full address is here.

There are live updates here on the state funeral, and other commemorative ceremonies. Also columnist Doug Saunders writes here on how, for world leaders, the Queen’s funeral is not only a solemn occasion, but also a de facto summit.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you're reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY'S HEADLINES

TRUDEAU AVOIDS SPECIFIC ANSWERS ON FORMER CSIS OPERATIVE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to say Sunday whether Ottawa granted asylum to a former operative of Canada’s spy service after he was freed from a Turkish prison last month for trafficking three underaged British schoolgirls to Islamic State militants. Story here.

INFLATION AND COST-OF-LIVING EXPECTED TO BE FOCUS AS COMMONS RETURNS – Inflation and cost-of-living concerns are set to dominate the return of House of Commons sittings this week, though each party is arriving with different prescriptions for tackling the country’s affordability pressures. Story here.

QUEBEC ELECTION – Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault is facing criticism from his political rivals after he said members of an Indigenous community want to reopen a semantic debate rather than fix racism problems at a hospital. Story here. Meanwhile, Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade continues to face questions about her political future as her party sputters toward election day. Story here.

FORTIN TRIAL UNDER WAY – The first day of the sexual assault trial of Major-General Dany Fortin, a high-profile military commander who once led Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, is under way in Quebec. Story here from CBC.

HARPER INVESTED INTO ORDER OF CANADA – Former prime minister Stephen Harper has been invested into the Order of Canada during a ceremony in London attended by former prime ministers as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Story here.

LEBLANC EXPECTED TO TAKE ON POILIEVRE: HILL TIMES – When the House resumes this week, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc is expected to a play a major role that includes keeping a close eye on Pierre Poilievre, the new Conservative Leader. Story here from Hill Times.

MIGRANTS AND SUPPORTS SEEK PERMANENT STATUS THROUGH RALLIES – Thousands of migrants and their supporters held rallies across Canadian cities on Sunday to call on Ottawa to extend permanent status to undocumented people. Story here.

POLITICIANS-ON-TRACTORS IMAGERY LOOMS – TVO explains here why you are about to see a bunch of photos of Ontario politicians riding tractors.

PM SINGS – A video of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau singing at a gathering in London on Saturday – days before the Queen’s funeral – has sparked debate on social media. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

The Commons resumes sitting on Tuesday.

PM IN NEW YORK THIS WEEK – The expected rhetorical clash between the Prime Minister and Pierre Poilievre, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, will have to wait a few days. Parliament sits again on Tuesday, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not be in town. The Prime Minister will be be in New York this week, attending the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly between Sept. 20 and 22. He is expected back in the House on Thursday.

VISIT BY SOUTH KOREAN LEADER – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will visit Toronto and Ottawa on Sept. 22 and 23 – his first bilateral visit abroad since he was elected in March. South Korea is Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit with Mr. Yoon while he is in Ottawa.

MULRONEY SPEAKS ON THURSDAY – Former prime minister Brian Mulroney, who spoke at the national commemorative ceremony for the Queen in Ottawa on Monday, will be in the spotlight again on Thursday. Mr. Mulroney will be participating in the David Peterson Leadership Program Speaker Series, and interviewed by Peter Loewen, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

THE DECIBEL

On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Globe Europe correspondent Paul Waldie talks about the crisis in Britain in which natural gas bills have soared, raising the prospect of a serious economic blow for one-third of the people in the country. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau attended the state funeral of the Queen Westminster Abbey in London, as well as the committal service. They then departed for New York and the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

LEADERS

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended the national commemorative ceremony in honour of the Queen.

No schedules released for other party leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

Nik Nanos, the Nanos Research chief data scientist and official pollster for The Globe and Mail and CTV News, does a Data Dive here on how Pierre Poilievre heralds a new era for the federal Conservatives. “Conservative Party version 2.0 is not about ensuring the old merger holds, it is about building a new movement focused on Canadians and looking to regain government,” writes Mr. Nanos.

OPINION

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how Pierre Poilievre’s victory ripples through the UCP leadership race: “A bigger question on Mr. Poilievre’s win, and what it means to Alberta, is much farther down the line – should he ever lead the Conservatives to electoral victory in the years ahead. Will a Poilievre government make the relationship between the province and Ottawa as effortless as many conservatives think? The province will still be an outlier compared with the rest of the country when it comes to the economy. It will still rely on the oil and natural gas sectors for years and decades to come. And no matter the government, or whether the sovereignty act comes to be, there will still be disagreements about federal funding flowing to Alberta, and provincial autonomy. Even the government of Stephen Harper, who represented a Calgary riding, still squabbled with provincial Progressive Conservative governments over health care funding, employment insurance qualification rules and even climate policy.”

David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on how Pierre Poilievre’s economic priorities are more straightforward than they seem: “When it comes to nailing down Pierre Poilievre’s economic policy, it can be hard separating the real from the surreal. There’s the love of cryptocurrency. There’s the too-clever-by-half “Justinflation” slogan. There’s the threat to make central bankers walk the plank. When he launches into a 500-year-old history lesson on Henry VIII and “Old Coppernose,” you start to wonder how many cannabis shops are in Mr. Poilievre’s neighbourhood. But once you sift through all the crazy, the new Conservative Leader’s economic priorities are pretty straightforward.”

Andrew Cohen (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how it is finally time for Canada to talk about being a republic: ”Suddenly, things have changed. This is the moment to have an honest debate on dissolving the monarchy, severing ties with Great Britain and taking the last momentous step on our journey to maturity. We spared Queen Elizabeth the conversation. We cannot spare ourselves. One hundred and fifty-five years after Confederation, moving on from monarchy flows naturally from our history of deliberative steps, big and small, to full self-government. Becoming a republic would be the acme of our institutional evolution. That’s not to say it will be easy, this conversation. Some think it’s foolish.”

Alexandre Laurin and William Robson (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how taxes can amplify the pain of inflation: “The simplest way to reduce the pain from inflation’s interaction with taxes is to reduce inflation. But that will take time, and will create discomfort of its own. Meanwhile, governments should address the ways nonrecognition of inflation hurts earners, savers and recipients of benefits. Whatever the future rate of inflation, Canadians will enjoy the relief.”

Josh Medicoff and Daniel Béland (Policy Options) on how some provincial governments seek conflict with municipalities – and gain from it: ”In Quebec, and in particular Ontario, intergovernmental conflict around large transportation projects has emerged. These projects – a tramway in Quebec City and an expansive new highway in the Greater Toronto Area – reveal how small-c conservative provincial governments strategically calculate and accept conflict with municipalities, often with few political repercussions.”

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