The delayed arrival of Governor General Mary Simon at the national Remembrance Day service in Ottawa broke a moment of silence for fallen Canadian heroes.
Live footage from the ceremony shows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other officials quietly observing two minutes of silence for veterans at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Before the end of the two minutes, the silence is abruptly interrupted by the announcement of the arrival of Governor General Simon.
According to Rideau Hall communications director Natalie Babin Dufresne, Simon’s delay was due to security concerns.
“Security issues have delayed the finish streak,” Dufresne told True North.
Simon’s office did not explain why his arrival was not timed after the moment of silence.
Simon wasn’t the only one to arrive late for the ceremony. Prime Minister Trudeau himself arrived a few minutes before 11 a.m., when the minute of silence is traditionally scheduled.
According to the RCMP, a suspicious package is the cause of the delay of the Prime Minister and the Governor General.
“As a precaution, our officers investigated and the package was cleared within minutes,” RCMP said.
“It was deemed non-hazardous. There was nothing to worry about. »
It is not known why this delay led to the interruption of the two minutes of silence.
Observers on social media criticized the resulting incident as a disrespect to the memory of the soldiers.
“The lack of respect is staggering. Incredible. However, the rest of the program participants did a fine job of a very abbreviated ceremony,” mentioned lawyer and former policy director to Prime Minister Stephen Harper Rachel Curran.
“Good grief. Announce it after the two minutes of silence. How difficult is it? » Noted Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein.