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Pierre Elliott Trudeau:

Stanfield too ill to attend funeral
The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 5, 2000

Ottawa -- Robert Stanfield, one of Pierre Elliott Trudeau's most effective political foes, was not able, for health reasons, to make it to the former prime minister's funeral on Tuesday.

Mr. Stanfield was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party opposing Mr. Trudeau in the 1968, 1972 and 1974 elections. After being soundly defeated by what came to be known as Trudeaumania in 1968, Mr. Stanfield and his party bounced back four years later to come within one seat of the Liberals, forcing the Trudeau government into a minority position in the 29th Parliament.

When the two men were both in the House of Commons, Mr. Stanfield often used his dry wit to get the better of Mr. Trudeau in debate. But the former Conservative leader, now 86, has made no comment about his former nemesis since Mr. Trudeau died.

Mr. Stanfield is recovering from a stroke that has affected both his walking and his speech. As a Privy Councillor, he was invited to the Trudeau funeral, and the current Conservative Leader, Joe Clark, encouraged him to attend. According to a family member, Mr. Stanfield had several pre-arranged medical appointments for Tuesday.

Former Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell also missed the funeral, but it was not for want of trying, according to an assistant. Ms. Campbell was in Turkey, attending a meeting on human rights when Mr. Trudeau died. She was scheduled to go on to Bahrain to give a speech on Tuesday.

The assistant said Ms. Campbell tried to delay the speech to permit her to fly to Montreal and return to Bahrain but the logistics turned out to be impossible. She sent her condolences to the family and said in a message she joined the nation in the day of "mourning and respect."

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