Funeral of Guy Lafleur | For politicians, a proud representative of the nation

A superhero on the ice, a man with a big heart off the ice, Guy Lafleur has also been a symbol of the pride and success of Quebecers who have had many opportunities to identify with him.

Posted yesterday at 4:39 PM.

André Duchesne

André Duchesne
The press

William Theriault

William Theriault
The press

This was indicated, each in their own way, by several politicians who attended the national funeral of the former right winger of the Canadiens on Tuesday. Starting with the Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault.

“He was the idol of the nation of Quebec and today we say thank you to Guy Lafleur for all the pride he brought to us,” said Mr. Legault on his arrival at the Marie-Reine-du-World. It’s still something to say that Guy Lafleur is one of us and the best hockey player in the world. What pride he gave to us, the entire nation of Quebec. †

For her part, former Prime Minister Pauline Marois underlined how much people identify with people like the Blonde Demon. “Guy Lafleur was a real hero and people need heroes,” she said. He was quite a remarkable man and passionate about his craft. Arrive earlier [que ses coéquipiers] in the players room, you had to want it! †

Guy Lafleur has entered all the cottages in Quebec and we will first remember his humility, his authenticity, underlined Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade, who was accompanied by Marquette’s deputy and former NHL player, Enrico Ciccone. He marked everyone, all generations. †


PHOTOGRAPH DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Dominique Anglade and Enrico Ciccone

Two other former Quebec prime ministers, Jean Charest and Philippe Couillard, pushed for Lafleur’s unifying side. “Regardless of origin, everyone gathered around number 10,” said Mr. Couillard. “He is a man who has marked Quebec a lot. The proof is how much he brings together today,” said Jean Charest, who awarded the National Order of Quebec to Lafleur in 2005.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that Lafleur had accomplished a lot off the ice, an aspect of his personality to remember. “It is also a time to thank him for his deep humanity,” said Mr Trudeau. He was at the service of all of us as Quebecers and Canadians. I am so touched by his life. Today is a day to reflect on all that he has brought us and all the ways he continues to inspire us. †


PHOTOGRAPH DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Justin Trudeau

Also identified with childhood

Regardless of their allegiances, the politicians present made connections between Lafleur’s exploits and their youth.

This is the case of Isabelle Charest, Quebec’s Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the status of women. “As long as I can remember, I watched hockey with my family. My sister was a big fan of Ken Dryden. Me, it was more Guy Lafleur. He was the symbol that anything is possible. It brings a lot of emotion to say goodbye or goodbye to someone who made us dream. †

His colleague Pascale St-Onge, the Canadian Minister of Sports, also spoke about his childhood memories. “When I was little I watched the games with my father, my mother, my brother, I remembered the member of Brome-Missisquoi. We were all fans. He flew over the ice rink with his hair in the wind…”

“I am old enough to have seen him play,” said Quebec Solidaire delegate Vincent Marissal. This man brought us together and the way we say goodbye to him, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen that. It does us good. We are currently quite divided in Quebec and in society in general. It took a Guy Lafleur to get us back together, I think it’s great fun. †

Quebec Mayor Bruno Marchand considers his city’s representation at the ceremony “fundamental”. “First, to salute his time in junior hockey [avec les Remparts] and earlier, he said. Just like his return at the end with the Nordiques. †

Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre reminisced with the one he calls “my friend.” “We’ve done a lot together,” he says. I was also proud to celebrate him as mayor. I also did a helicopter ride. Being in the same helicopter with Ginette Reno and Guy Lafleur is something! †


PHOTOGRAPH DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois

The last word? We give it to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for Québec solidarity at the National Assembly: “The great players mark their sport and the idols mark their people. I think that’s what Guy Lafleur did. †

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