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Passing of Nelson Mandela
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Atleo Traveling to South Africa to Participate in Memorial Services for 'Madiba' Nelson Mandela
Harper travels to South Africa to pay final respects to Nelson Mandela
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Atleo on the Passing of South African Leader Nelson Mandela
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' National Chief Lavallée Issues Statement on the Passing of Nelson Mandela
ONTARIO REGIONAL CHIEF STAN BEARDY ON THE PASSING OF NELSON MANDELA, THE MOST IMPACTFUL INDIGENOUS LEADER OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Protests against proposed First Nations Education Act
Anishinabek leading education rally
NAN TO HOLD EDUCATION RALLY
Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians to Announce Action Plan to Oppose the Proposed First Nation Education Act
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Federal Court Review Attawapiskat First Nation challenge Federal third party manager decision
Canada: The Aboriginal Economic Benchmarking Report
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Harper travels to South Africa to pay final respects to Nelson Mandela By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen board a flight for South Africa to attend a memorial for Nelson Mandela, in Ottawa, Sunday, Dec.8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen board a flight for South Africa to attend a memorial for Nelson Mandela, in Ottawa, Sunday, Dec.8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA - A who's who of Canadian politics is on its way to South Africa with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pay their final respects to Nelson Mandela.

Harper will attend a public memorial for Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg, as well as his lying in state in Pretoria on Wednesday.

He's being accompanied by three of his predecessors — Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Kim Campbell, all of whom were invited by Harper to fly on the prime ministerial plane to attend the service. Joe Clark, meantime, is already in Africa and will join the Canadian delegation when it arrives in South Africa.

"He was a great, great man," Chretien said of Mandela as he boarded the plane.

Harper and his wife, Laureen, waved to the assembled media on the tarmac at the Ottawa airport as they got on the plane, a chilly sunset serving as their backdrop.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair also joined the delegation, but not Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leader. Instead, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler joined the delegation. It wasn't immediately known if Trudeau declined an invitation from Harper .

Assembly of First Nations national chief Shawn Atleo was also on board. Former Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, Premiers Darrell Pasloski of the Yukon, Nova Scotia's Stephen McNeil and Alison Redford of Alberta are also travelling to South Africa with the prime minister.

"To see representatives of all political families together going to South Africa to pay tribute to Mandela is totally in the spirit of the man, so I'm proud of us," Jean said as she prepared to board the plane.

Redford, a lawyer specializing in constitutional and legal reform law, worked for Mandela in the early 1990s in efforts to rebuild South Africa's legal system and lay the groundwork for the first all-race elections that led to him becoming president.

Mulroney spearheaded Canada's efforts to free Mandela from prison and pressure South Africa to end apartheid, while Chretien was prime minister when Mandela was granted honourary Canadian citizenship in 2001.

Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95.

His body will lie in state from Wednesday through Friday.

A state funeral for the former South African president is planned for next Sunday.

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