Apr 16, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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Former finance minister Jim Flaherty has been remembered at his state funeral as a man who walked on the world stage “like a giant.”

Luminaries from all over the political spectrum came together at St. James Cathedral in Toronto today to remember Flaherty, who died suddenly last week at age 64.

Prime Minister Harper called it “a sad time in the life of our country” as he began the ceremony with a personal tribute to his longtime confidante.

Harper joked that they didn’t always agree – but said he sometimes let Flaherty have his way – even if he was wrong because, in his words, “I just got so damn tired of arguing with him.”

But Harper had to compose himself as he described the day he accepted Flaherty’s resignation – and told him he thought he’d been the best finance minister in the world, if not the best in Canadian history.

Flaherty’s widow, Christine Elliott, praised her husband as “intense, a perfectionist and the most intelligent man I have ever met.”

At the end of the service, an R-C-M-P honour guard folded the Canadian flag draping Flaherty’s casket and handed it to Prime Minister Harper, who then presented it to the Flaherty family.

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