Noel Kinsella, speaker of the senate, comes to the Prime Minister’s defence.
There have been some media reports focusing on the Communion Service during the funeral of the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc last Friday in Memramcook, New Brunswick. These reports have questioned whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper consumed the host that was given to him at the funeral.
I would like to state that I personally witnessed Prime Minister Harper consume the host that was given to him by Archbishop André Richard. Sitting only a few seats behind him I had a full view of the proceedings and clearly saw the Prime Minister accept the host after Archbishop Richard offered it. The Prime Minister consumed it.
Canada being a multicultural society is by consequence a multi-faith society and it is a Canadian value to be respectful of all our faith traditions. As a Catholic, I was therefore pleased to see the Prime Minister of Canada express his solidarity and Communion with all those present in the sanctuary as we celebrated the life of the former Governor General.
I reflect that it was only one year ago that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Primate of all of Canada hosted the World Eucharistic Congress and was supported by Prime Minister Harper and his government. Together with Minister Jason Kenney we were pleased to host in Quebec City all of the Cardinals and Prelates from around the world who were in attendance at this World Eucharistic Congress.