ADVERTISEMENT

Entertainment

Funeral of Jean Lapointe: but who judges our heroes?

ADVERTISEMENT

There will be no state funeral for Jean Lapointe. One cannot help but frown in incomprehension when comparing his career and involvement with those of other personalities who have been entitled to this honor. What is this decision based on? It’s a complete mystery. And it’s not normal.

• Read also: Bulletins of the week in the National Assembly

On a personal note, I grew up watching my mom hum the chorus of It’s in the songs and other If we sang togetheras if these melodies and these words had a comforting effect, after the days of work.

Lapointe’s words were beautiful and tender and so unifying.

His music and poetry have touched the hearts of ordinary people and beautified their daily lives.

Humble, a great actor and also a Senator, has reached out to helping so many other Quebecers struggling with alcoholism through the house and foundation that bear his name.

Among those entitled to state funerals are great sportsmen such as Maurice Richard, but also director Gilles Carles and impresario René Angélil.

In the case of Celine Dion’s manager, the decision to give her top marks in 2016 even forced Prime Minister Philippe Couillard to interrupt an overseas mission.

The PM had returned from Davos in Switzerland, with a return flight to Montreal, before continuing his mission in Italy.

Mr. Angélil, without a doubt, made a great Quebec interpreter shine all over the world.

Comparison

But inevitably, one wonders, why not Jean Lapointe? What are the government’s criteria?

And that’s the problem.

Even the Minister of Culture, Mathieu Lacombe, does not know.

The decision is made by Protocol, a division of the Ministry of International Relations (MRI).

It cannot be said that the officials were taken aback.

Mr Lapointe’s family had informed the government that he had entered palliative care and that his death was imminent, ten days earlier.

The Journal asked the ministry twice this week, unsuccessfully, what the criteria were.

Only vague answer: the analysis is based on precedents that have existed since 1996.

Some wonder if the proximity to the national funeral of Guy Lafleur, which took place seven months ago, did not play against the illustrious singer and actor.

As if it should be a rare honor.

The Mystery of the Protocol

Who then deliberates, then decides? A committee? Formed by whom?

Protocol, it just says MRI.

It is one of the five divisions of the ministry.

The name of Geneviève Lebel, acting head of the Ceremonial State and official visits, appears in the organization chart. Her work experiences are rather concentrated in media relations.

Diane Thibault would have taken office last Monday.

The Assistant Deputy Minister and Head of Protocol, Dominic Marcotte, instead worked at the Tokyo delegation and in particular at the Québec office in Mumbai.

Of course, holding a state funeral isn’t the only way to reward our giants.

Mr. Lapointe was awarded the Ordre national du Québec in 2006. The MRI is currently providing organizational support to the family for the funeral and a chapel-laying.

It is still not the same favor, while the national funeral is the financial responsibility of the state and allows a large number of Quebecers to pay their respects to the deceased.

The decisions made in this regard will remain subjective and questionable. They shouldn’t be political.

On the other hand, Quebecers have a right to know by what criteria the last honor is granted.

It’s about their heroes.

ADVERTISEMENT

Leave a Comment