‘Huge waste’: Why athletes and celebrities don’t need state funerals

This might sound cool.

But state funerals are a colossal waste of money no matter who they are for.

I posted this tweet on May 3rd.

It bothered a few people…as I knew it would be.

It’s a very unpopular opinion and one DM I’ve had even went so far as to say I was disrespectful to Canadian hockey great Guy Lafleur.

No, I was not disrespectful in any way. I was sharing an opinion, an opinion I’ve been holding for years. I just don’t see the benefit of a state funeral, nor do I particularly care how unfair it is to give it to celebrities over others.

So who will hold a state funeral in Canada? Well, it’s usually the prime ministers, the governor-general, cabinet members or, in a rare case, the leader of the opposition, Jack Leighton. Then Prime Minister Harper gave a state funeral to his partner, Olivia Chao, who accepted her. It ended up costing Canadian taxpayers nearly $400,000.

In Quebec, they have state and national funerals, Lafleur received the last.

It honors people who “have had an influence on political life, as determined by the government.” In fact, Lafleur is the third hockey player to receive a national funeral, and is among a group of mostly men from politics and the arts to have received that honor and each national funeral costs Quebec taxpayers $50,000 or more.

So why are some people who contribute to society most of their lives so highly honored while others are ignored for their contributions? It’s simple – fame and communication.

Tried finding a number on how much Lafleur has raised for charities over the years, it was hard, but I’m sure it will be in the millions which is clearly great because he did the right thing – use his platform to help others.

But there are plenty of other examples of Canadians who have contributed their entire lives to help others, raise millions for charity, and volunteer in their communities. Where are their official funerals and endless honors?

So it’s a strange system and obviously biased towards those who get to process gold on their early exit.

Which brings me to the politicians and prime ministers who attend state funerals. why?
You chose to do it as a job, and you’ve been rewarded a lot for it, with great six-figure salaries, office perks, perks for post-office life (depending on who you are), and if you put in long enough…retirement is the envy of most Canadians.

A few people have told me it’s about remembering the person. Awesome… Google remembers their picture all you want. Read their wiki page, I don’t care. But taxpayers should never be in trouble burying a dead politician simply because they are politicians. Oh, and long after you passed away, we will then name the schools, parks, and streets after you. When does it stop?

So really ask yourself why only politicians, athletes, and celebrities benefit from this? Because they are famous… and you are addicted to fame!

Let’s start to look at people who don’t know much who have also contributed their whole lives to help others and start giving them some prizes like street and school names instead of just another dead politician.