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Politicians past and present expected in St. John's for John Crosbie funeral

Newfoundland and Labrador Lieut.-Gov. John Crosbie is shown during an interview in his office in St.John's, Jan.6, 2011. John Crosbie, a former federal cabinet minister and lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador who was known as much for his sharp wit as for his politics, has died at the age of 88. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Past and present politicians of all stripes are expected in St. John’s, N.L., today to pay their last respects to John Crosbie.

The former federal cabinet minister and lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, remembered for his wit and advocacy for his home province, died Friday at age 88.

A state funeral will be held at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in the provincial capital.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is expected to deliver a eulogy for his former Progressive Conservative colleague, whom he praised as “one of the giants of our generation” in a statement after Crosbie’s death.

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who after Crosbie’s death hailed him as “a true force of nature,” has also confirmed plans to attend the funeral.

During a lengthy political career that began on St. John’s city council, Crosbie held a number of federal cabinet portfolios,  including finance, fisheries, justice and international trade.

Flags have been at half-mast in front of Confederation Building in St. John’s since the news of Crosbie’s death.

Hundreds of people came out during a public visitation in the House of Assembly Tuesday and Wednesday, where Crosbie’s ashes were presented in an urn.

Newfoundlanders in attendance fondly recalled a politician who cared about his constituents, made neighbourly connections and defended their interests.

Friends and colleagues highlighted Crosbie’s support for fundraising initiatives and his role in building the oil and gas industry in the province.

Crosbie is survived by his wife Jane and children Michael, Beth and Ches, who is leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Progressive Conservative party.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press