Saturday, January 30, 2016

Quebec Pays for Angelil Funeral.

Angelil funeral

A national funeral was held in Quebec at the Notre-Dame Basilica on January 14th for Rene Angelil, 73, husband of Celine Dion for 21 years and her manager for over 30. Dignitaries attending the affair included Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, former Quebec premiers Jean Charest and Bernard Landry, as well as former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Federal government representatives were Heritage Minister Melanie Joly and Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Fans lined up for hours outside in the cold to get into the service, flags were flown at half-mast, and the funeral was streamed live on television.

The last time Angelil went to the bank, he was worth around 400 million, while his wife's net worth is estimated to be 630 million, yet the visitations, as well as the cost of the funeral and the security for the 2-day event, is being paid for by the taxpayers provincial police. As if the 2-day Quebec funeral were not enough, another 'celebration of life' is being planned at the Las Vegas' Caesars Palace Colosseum for February 3rd, where Dion has her residency and where they had both lived since 2003. By the time he is buried, he will have skeletonized.

The Quebec writer and filmmaker Francine Pelletier raised questions about the state-sponsored funeral for Angelil. "One has to wonder why a businessman who has had a career and made a lot of money in the U.S. has to be honored with a state funeral in Quebec?" Yet other questions need to be asked. Why would a woman whose net worth is probably more than the GDP of a dozen or more countries in the world agree to the province picking up the tab? And why would the state offer to pay? It was Celine who decided to make un spectacle grand public of the funeral.

In spite of her grief Dion, wearing a black dress, black gloves and lace veil, greeted the many funeral guests on the steps of the basilica, while some guests posed on the red carpet leading up to it, as if arriving at the Oscars. The singer had previously greeted mourners for more than seven hours during a private visitation, and after, for a public gathering, with a public display of mourning to rival that of Jackie Kennedy. The only items missing from the funeral program was the 21-gun salute and the riderless horse.