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GiveLife.ca

    
Pierre Elliott Trudeau:
1919-2000


Funeral poses massive security challenge
Sharpshooters, large police contingent part of effort to ensure dignitaries' safety

By ANDRÉ PICARD
The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 3, 2000

MONTREAL -- The massive influx of domestic and foreign dignitaries into Montreal for the funeral of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau will pose one of the biggest challenges ever to Canadian police and security officials.

World leaders such as Cuban President Fidel Castro and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter will be present at Notre Dame Basilica this morning. There is also a rumour that international singing star Barbra Streisand will pay her respects.

So will the Governor-General, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and four former Canadian prime ministers, all the provincial and territorial leaders, judges and ambassadors from virtually every country in the world.

"A funeral like this is the kind of thing that gives security people kittens," said John Thompson, director of the Mackenzie Institute, which studies political instability and organized conflict.

"People are outside for long periods of time moving slowly so they become easier targets," he said in an interview yesterday.

Alan Bell, president of Globe Risk Holdings International, a Toronto-based company that provides security for VIPs, agreed, saying the funeral is a "security planning nightmare.

A long-time British secret service agent, Mr. Bell is providing security for a client who will be attending the funeral. He said one of the biggest challenges will be getting dignitaries in and out of the church because the narrow streets in Old Montreal do not lend themselves well to motorcades and the basilica has very few doors.

Further, the fact that Canada is a melting pot of the world -- in large part due to Mr. Trudeau's multicultural policies -- "means that you have all kinds of people with an axe to grind with any number of the smorgasborg of dignitaries."

On the other hand, both the security experts said the short period of time between the death of Mr. Trudeau and his funeral gives those who would exploit the event for a terrorist attack little opportunity to develop a strategy.

"It takes a long time to plan an attack. The much larger problem at an event like this is the psychotic in the crowd," Mr. Thompson said.

Yesterday, RCMP officers and Montreal Urban Community Police officers were out in large numbers around the church.

Corporal Léo Monbourquette of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that, despite the tight time line, security was under control.

Bomb-sniffing dogs scoured the basilica and a helicopter hovered overhead most of the day.

Today, security experts said, there will be sharpshooters on the roofs around the church, and a massive contingent of uniformed and plainclothes officers both inside and outside the church.

THE DIGNITARIES

Here is a partial list of dignitaries who will attend the funeral of Pierre Trudeau:
FOREIGN

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York

Fidel Castro, President of Cuba

Karim Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community

Constantinos Stephanopoulos, President of Greece

Samuel Hinds, Prime Minister of Guyana

Jimmy Carter, former U.S. president

Raymond Barre, former prime minister of France

Seymour Mullings, Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica

Sir John Compton, former prime minister of San Lucia

Sir Geoffrey Hoon, Defence Minister Britain

Don Johnston, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Hans Matthoeffer, former finance minister of Germany

Najib Zerouali, Minister of Scientific Research, Morocco

Louis Tull, former foreign minister, Barbados

Edwin Carrington, secretary-general of Caricom

Assad Kotaite, president of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization

CANADIAN

Adrienne Clarkson, Governor-General

Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister

Brian Mulroney, former prime minister

Kim Campbell, former prime minister

John Turner, former prime minister

Joe Clark, former prime minister

Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Ramon Hnatyshyn, former governor-general

Edward Schreyer, former governor-genera

Roméo LeBlanc, former governor-general

All 13 provincial and territorial leaders

Numerous former premiers

CORRECTION

Constantinos Stephanopoulos, the President of Greece, did not plan to attend the funeral of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Incorrect information was provided by Heritage Canada.
(Wednesday, October 4, 2000, Page A2)


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