Pierre Elliott Trudeau:
Trudeau crypt threatened
By INGRID PERITZ; With a report from Canadian Press
The Globe and Mail
Monday, October 9, 2000
Montreal -- The Trudeau family crypt, the site of a steady pilgrimage since former prime minister Pierre Trudeau was buried there last Tuesday, has been placed under 24-hour guard by the RCMP.
The RCMP was tipped off Friday about a threat to damage the stone crypt in St-Rémi-de-Napierville, Que., on Montreal's South Shore, and has posted a marked cruiser to guard it.
"We received threats that there would be some damage done to Mr. Trudeau's gravesite," RCMP spokesman Corporal Leo Monbourquette said in an interview last night. "We are looking into who made the threats."
He declined to specify the nature of the threats, but he said surveillance would be maintained until tomorrow, at which point it will be re-evaluated.
Mr. Trudeau was buried in the stone crypt in a private ceremony after his state funeral at Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica.
Since then, the gravesite has drawn a constant stream of mourners from Quebec and across Canada. The increase in traffic to the quiet town of St. Rémi, a farming community of 6,000, has forced it to increase police presence on the roads, Mayor Michel Lavoie said last night.
He said he has met visitors from as far away as New Brunswick and Manitoba. Mr. Lavoie was unaware of the threats to the gravesite.
He also said it was an honour to have Mr. Trudeau buried in his community. "It's always gratifying to see people come back to their roots, to be with their family."
The cemetery never closes. It is enclosed by a low iron fence, but has no gate.
People who arrived yesterday to pay tribute to Mr. Trudeau eyed the police cruiser parked near the cemetery's edge and expressed shock that anyone would threaten to vandalize the former prime minister's final resting place.
"I don't understand it," one elderly man said, shaking his head slightly. "The man is dead. Leave him in peace."
"It's disgusting," another man said.
Mr. Trudeau, 80, died Sept. 28 of prostate cancer. He was given a state funeral after thousands of people filed past his coffin as he lay in state in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill and then at Montreal City Hall.
The Trudeau family crypt, which contains 13 family members, including the former prime minister's mother and father, is a simple limestone mausoleum with the family name in large letters on its front.
Many people visiting the mausoleum have placed flowers, often red roses such as the ones Mr. Trudeau frequently sported in his lapel, at the black iron door.