By JIM FOX
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 1, 2000
Mourners honor Pierre Trudeau; state funeral in Montreal planned
Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is lying in state in Canada's Parliament this weekend in advance of a state funeral in Montreal on Tuesday.
Trudeau, Canada's most flamboyant prime minister, served between 1968 and 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984. He died at his home Thursday of prostate cancer. He would have turned 81 on Oct. 18.
Mourners have been dropping off roses at the door of his home in remembrance of the man who wore a flower every day in the lapel of his suit coat.
Among the mourners was Guy Chretien, 71, an older brother of Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who called Trudeau "an idol," comparing him with the late Montreal hockey great Maurice Richard.
Official confirmation of Trudeau's death came from the family about three hours after he died. Several weeks ago, Trudeau's sons put out the first word that their father was gravely ill.
All flags on Parliament Hill were lowered to half-staff and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's English network interrupted its live Olympic coverage from Sydney to review the Trudeau years and his legacy.
Insurance shift helps workers
There's more speculation of an imminent Canadian election after the Liberal government reversed an earlier decision and eliminated employment insurance limits that hurt seasonal workers.
Opposition members of Parliament said the changes were a pre-election ploy to capture votes in Atlantic Canada, a region where many out of work fishery workers were harmed by reduced jobless benefits.
The government defended the changes, saying they resulted from months of study and weren't motivated by an impending election.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien is considering a fall vote instead of waiting until next spring to seek his third term.
Canadians 65 and older are getting a 1.1 percent raise in the basic "Old Age Security" pension. The new payment will be $428.79 a month; other supplements and allowances will increase by the same amount to reflect a higher cost of living.
Air Canada's pilots have ratified a four-year contract that gives them improved job security, better pensions and higher pay. The 2,200 members of the Air Canada Pilots Association had threatened a strike.
Royal Bank of Canada is paying $2.3-billion for investment house Dain Rauscher Corp. of Minneapolis. Royal chairman John Cleghorn said this will give Canada's largest bank a U.S. springboard to expand its targeted wealth management and investment banking businesses.
Facts and figures
It's been another tough week for Canada's dollar. It tumbled to 66.51 cents U.S. Friday while the U.S. dollar was $1.5035 Canadian, before exchange fees.
This year's Canada Savings Bonds, to be issued Nov. 1, will pay an interest rate of 4.85 percent in the first year.
Canadian stock exchanges were lower, with the Toronto 300 Index at 10,377 and the Canadian Venture Exchange index at 3,532.
There was no change in the Bank of Canada key interest rate of 6 percent or the 7.5 percent prime lending rate.
Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 1, 24, 29, 35, 40 and 45; bonus 34. (Sept. 23) 2, 20, 22, 31, 37 and 49; bonus 27.
A suspect in mail bombings in Kelowna, British Columbia, was arrested at the Canada-U.S. border Thursday night. Andrija Tramsek, also known as Andy Davis, 57, is being held after a parcel bomb sent to the regional health unit was detonated with no injuries. Another bomb slightly injured a lawyer and his wife.
The final arguments in the first-degree murder trial of Dr. Abraham Cooper will begin Monday after three weeks of witnesses and exhibits. He's on trial for the slaying of fellow physician Doug Snider in Fairview, Alberta, last year.
Eileen O'Connell, a New Democratic member of the Nova Scotia legislature, has died in Halifax after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 53.
The New Brunswick government is moving to lighten the paperwork of doctors to head off protests. Doctors were threatening to stop filling out authorization forms for subsidized prescription drugs as part of demands for better pay and working conditions. The forms now can be written just once, not every month or so.
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From the AP