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'We have only ever known one Queen': Prominent Canadians react to the Queen's death

The Queen has died at the age of 96. Here is some of the reaction from notable Canadians: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "She was our Queen for almost half of Canada's existence.
Queen Elizabeth II greets the crowd gathered outside Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday July 6, 2010 as she ends her nine-day visit to Canada before flying to New York to address the United Nations THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Queen has died at the age of 96. Here is some of the reaction from notable Canadians:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"She was our Queen for almost half of Canada's existence. And she had an obvious, deep and abiding love and affection for Canadians. She served us all with strength and wisdom for 70 years as we grew into the diverse, optimistic, responsible, ambitious and extraordinary country we are today. As her twelfth Canadian prime minister, I'm having trouble believing that my last sitdown with her was my last. I will so miss those chats. She was thoughtful, wise, curious, helpful, funny, and so much more. In a complicated world, her steady grace and resolve brought comfort and strength to us all. Canada is in mourning. She was one of my favourite people in the world, and I will miss her so."


Gov. Gen. Mary Simon

"For many of us, we have only ever known one Queen. When I was growing up, my grandmother revered The Queen, as did so many in the Arctic. She would tell us stories about Her Majesty, about her role and her commitment. Her Majesty’s warm welcome when we spent time with her earlier this year was a profound moment in our lives and a memory we will cherish forever."


Paul Martin, former prime minister

"Queen Elizabeth was deeply inquisitive and keenly informed. She was exceptionally good company and very witty. At our first meeting, she was kind enough to mention her friendship with my parents who had lived in London when my father served as Canada's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom during the late 1960s. It is difficult to express how much that would have meant to my mother and father who were great admirers of her."


Yukon Premier Sandy Silver

"In 1959, the Yukon was fortunate to have Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit Whitehorse. Yukoners gathered with excitement to meet the Royal couple and it was a special moment for many ... On behalf of all Yukoners, I extend our sympathies to all members of the Royal Family."


British Columbia Lt.-Gov Janet Austin

"Her presence touched entire generations of Canadian families, who watched her grow from the teenage princess who trained as a mechanic with the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, to the young Queen who charmed crowds on her many tours throughout the country, to a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother many times over.”


Sask. Lt.-Gov Russ Mirasty

"Her Majesty was very fond of Canada and Canadians and thought of our country as her home away from home. She was committed to reconciliation and acknowledged the painful history that Indigenous peoples endured in residential schools in Canada, as well as the work that remains to heal and to continue to build an inclusive society. While we mourn her loss, we can also give thanks for her extraordinary contributions to Canada and the world."


Chief Wally Burns of James Smith Cree Nation

"Today we found out the monarch that served Canada has passed. She wrote a letter to James Smith Cree Nation on behalf of the monarch expressing the condolences to the families, the friends, to the community and to rest of the world."


Catherine Clark, communications professional and daughter of former prime minister Joe Clark

"I had the privilege to meet Queen Elizabeth II on several occasions & she was always gracious and attentive, but my favourite memory involves the 1987 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Vancouver. I was 10 yrs old and attending a cocktail reception with my parents. When she entered the room, (former prime minister Joe Clark) greeted her, and then she said to me "Hello – why are you not in school?" I explained that my teachers thought that hanging out with the Queen was a decent excuse to miss school, she laughed & began to make the rounds of the room. I did my duty of engaging in various conversations and was very much ready to go back to our room in the hotel when (Maureen McTeer) informed me that protocol dictated no one could leave the reception before the Queen. So I plunked myself down in the chair closest to the door, waiting impatiently (but politely – my mother was watching) when a voice said: "What are you still doing here?" It was the Queen. I said: "Well, I can't leave until YOU leave, so I'm just waiting for you to leave." Thankfully for me, the Queen found this amusing not insulting and said "Well, let's go then, shall we?" and we walked, chatting, out of the room together to the elevators, where we were both blessedly released from our official duties for the evening. I have always remembered that night. Queen Elizabeth II was a remarkable human being. She lived an extraordinary life. She was courageous, she was diplomatic, she was funny & kind. She was the ultimate servant leader. I am so terribly, deeply sorry that she has passed away."


Wrestler Chris Jericho

"It's always strangely sad when somebody famous that you literally knew of your whole life passes away, but Queen Elizabeth’s passing hits even closer to home. Growing up in Winnipeg in the '80s and because Canada is part of the Commonwealth, we had to sing 'God Save the Queen' every day at the end of the last period before we could leave school. What was probably a two min song seemed like 2,112 because all I wanted to do was get out of there! I was quite annoyed with the old Queen on those days. But I also looked at the Queen every day on our money and saw her at every concert and Winnipeg Jets game, which was always a cool thing! Anyways thanks for showing true grace and character as a monarch and ruling the Commonwealth with a fair hand!"


Singer Jann Arden

"Oh England! This dreaded day."


Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman

"Few of us will ever forget where we were, or what we were doing, when we heard the sad news of Her Majesty’s passing. For Queen Elizabeth has meant so much, to so many, for so long, it is difficult to imagine life without her. In her famous speech on the occasion of her 21st birthday, she promised that 'my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service,' and she kept this promise with perfect fidelity."


Toronto Mayor John Tory

"On her visit to Toronto in 1973, The Queen praised our city's diversity. She was interested in learning more about our neighbourhoods. During her Royal Tour in 1984, she visited Corso Italia, where 20,000 people came out to greet her. Her last visit to Canada ended in Toronto in 2010. We are thankful for the time she was able to spend here in our city and in Canada. Many people, including me, had the privilege of having met The Queen and to a person appreciate that opportunity to witness her quick wit, grace and wonderful smile."


National Hockey League

"The National Hockey League mourns the passing and celebrates the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II. She held a special place in the hearts of Canadians and, during her 70-year-reign, connected with our game in memorable ways."


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept.8, 2022.

The Canadian Press