22 August 2011
The practice since Confederation has been for the Government of Canada to offer a state funeral to current and former governors general, current and former prime ministers and current members of cabinet.
It is possible for the prime minister on behalf of the Government of Canada, to accord the honour of a state funeral to other eminent Canadians, should it be deemed appropriate.
Prime Minister Harper has exercised his discretion and has offered Ms. Chow a state funeral for Jack Layton. She has accepted.
Canadians will have an opportunity to salute Jack Layton’s contribution to public life as well as offer their heartfelt condolences, their thoughts and prayers to Mr. Layton's family.
More details will follow in due course.