Full Text Canadian Political Transcripts December 10, 2014: PM Stephen Harper’s Statement following the funeral service for Jean Béliveau — Transcript



Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada following the funeral service for Jean Béliveau

Source: PM.gc.ca, 12-10-14

Montréal, Quebec
10 December 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement following Jean Béliveau’s funeral service in Montréal:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada and on behalf of all Canadians, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Jean Béliveau.

“His wife Élise, his daughter Hélène, and his two granddaughters, Mylène and Magalie, have lost an extraordinary husband, father, and grandfather.

“And Canada has lost one of the most respected and admired citizens of his generation.

“No one played our national sport so skillfully, elegantly and successfully as Jean Béliveau.

“He inspired generations of young Canadian men and women, from coast to coast to coast.

“The greatest dream of hundreds of thousands of those youngsters was to score a goal ‘like Jean Béliveau.’

“Indeed, ever since the early 1950s there has been, and still is today, a special sort of goal in Canadian hockey: the ‘Jean Béliveau goal.’

“But Mr. Béliveau was greater than the sport to which he devoted his whole life.

“In Quebec, he was one of a handful of individuals, of popular heroes, who nourished the pride of our fellow citizens.

“During our first year in office, our Government had a resolution passed in the Parliament of Canada recognizing that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada.

“Among those great cultural values and institutions that are specific to Quebec – the French language and culture, the civil law – I think we can also very clearly recognize a red, white and blue jersey.

“A number nine could already be seen on the back of that jersey.

“Now we can see a jersey bearing the number four.

“Like so many generations of young Canadians since hockey has been played in Canada, Jean Béliveau took his first steps on skates on a small rink that his father set up in the back yard of the family home.

“Starting in his first years as a junior in Victoriaville and then in Québec City, there was something magical to be seen in how Jean Béliveau skated.

“For 18 years, thanks to his talent and team spirit, he made his mark as the natural leader of the Habs, who already had other stars in their roster.

“His charisma and influence transcended team lines.

“I remember attending a gala in honour of Mr. Béliveau’s 75th anniversary, here in Montréal.

“There, the great Gordie Howe, as fierce a competitor as the National Hockey League has ever seen, who played against Jean Béliveau for 18 years, said about him: ‘If you think he’s a good hockey player, as a gentleman he’s even better.’

“After hanging up his skates, he remained a beloved and respected figure of Quebec society, as a hockey executive and philanthropist.

“Above all, he was a family man, devoted to his wife, his daughter and his grandchildren.

“To remain close to them during a difficult period in their life, he declined two of the highest functions in the country, offered by two successive prime ministers – of different political stripes.

“Jean Béliveau also leaves the legacy and the example of a discreet, generous philanthropist, deeply committed to his community.

“Throughout and after his sports career, he had a special place in his heart for children with disabilities.

“Jean Béliveau was already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, inducted immediately after he retired from the game.

“He is now a part of Canadian history.”
– See more at: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/12/10/statement-prime-minister-canada-following-funeral-service-jean-beliveau#sthash.FZqOkDAe.dpuf


Full Text Canadian Political Transcripts December 3, 2014: PM Stephen Harper’s Statement on the death of Jean Béliveau — Transcript



Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of Jean Béliveau

Source: PM.gc.ca, 12-3-14

Ottawa, Ontario
3 December 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement after learning of the death of hockey legend Jean Béliveau:

“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and many fans of Jean Béliveau, who passed away at the age of 83.

“Known affectionately as ‘Le Gros Bill,’ Mr. Béliveau was quite simply one of the most talented and gracious players to ever play the game. His renowned skills as a centre – including his skating ability and expert stick handling – were perhaps only eclipsed by his unfailing sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct both on and off the ice.

“A pillar of the Montreal Canadiens for decades, he contributed enormously as both a player and later an executive to the Habs, earning 17 Stanley cups. He still ranks second on the team’s all-time regular season scoring list with 1,219 points and holds the Canadiens’ record with 176 career playoff points in 162 contests. He made the All-Star Team numerous times, and won many of the leagues’ most prestigious honours, including the Art Ross Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy. Le Gros Bill was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

“Mr. Béliveau was also a philanthropist contributing to the Alzheimer Society and Big Brothers and Big Sisters, as well as to a multitude of activities for children with disabilities, including through the Jean Béliveau Foundation.

“Jean Béliveau was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1998 and a Grand officier de l’Ordre national du Québec in 2010. He was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001 and into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. He was also the recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

“Mr. Béliveau will be remembered as a hockey giant who inspired a nation with his outstanding skill, humility and pure love of the game. His legacy lives on in the records he set, the legions of hockey players that he inspired, and the deep love he shared with his home province of Quebec.”
– See more at: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/12/03/statement-prime-minister-canada-death-jean-beliveau#sthash.vVv5Wlpz.dpuf