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Okanagan politicians pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

‘A stalwart of civility, dignity, and compassion’
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles at the annual Royal Ascot horse race in 2006. (File AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Okanagan politicians are remembering Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said he and city council are mourning the passing of the Queen.

“Her unwavering commitment to her duties as the sovereign and her public service will define her legacy,” he said. “Since her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth has served with grace and humility and gentle diplomacy. Our condolences go out to her family, loved ones, and those who are mourning today.

Flags at city hall have been lowered to half-mast until sunset on the day of the memorial service in recognition of Elizabeth’s more than 70 years’ service as Queen of Canada and Head of the Commonwealth.

Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield said she was heartbroken to hear the news.

“There’s a feeling of loss for what she meant and her presence,” said Merrifield. “If you think about her life, during some of the most pivotal moments in history, her legacy of strength, service, and stability her contributions are going to be remembered for a very long time.”

Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart met the Queen twice, including when he was 14 years old.

“She was a true leader and states person,” said Stewart. “I think that it will be very challenging for anybody Royal Family to pick up even where she took over when she was so young.”

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MLA Richard Cannings said he had the deepest respect for the longest-serving British monarch.

“She served with an incredible sense of duty, an incredible sense of dignity for her role,” he added. “I think we’ve been well served to have her as our constitutional monarch through these years, above all the political wranglings and who is prime minister.”

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said he believed the entire world is mourning her loss.

“I think it’s an incredible loss of a very eloquent and dedicated monarch for the entire world, not just for the current and former British Empire.”

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray said she, like many Canadians, was saddened to hear the news.

“My thoughts and the thoughts of many in Kelowna-Lake Country are for her family, including his Majesty, Charles, in this time of mourning as we reflect on her historic reign.”

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas tweeted that the Canadian head of state was a devoted public servant.

“A stalwart of civility, dignity, and compassion. Thankful for her steadfastness in performance of duty and her ability to communicate. May she Rest In Peace. God save the Queen.”

READ MORE: BREAKING: The Queen, longest-reigning monarch in British history, dies at 96

READ MORE: A Queen’s Welcome: Queen Elizabeth II visited Kelowna 51 years ago


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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