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Tearful tribute to Downie

There was an uncommon slowness in Justin Trudeau's step Wednesday morning as he walked toward the weekly Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill, his thoughts weighed heavily with the news that Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie had died.

"I thought I was going to make it through this but I'm not," the prime minister said, his voice cracking with emotion, tears streaming down his face... It hurts."

A couple of hours before, the Hip had announced that their lead singer died Tuesday night at the age of 53 after a more than year-long battle with brain cancer.

"We all knew it was coming," Trudeau said. "But we hoped it wasn't."

Trudeau added that Canada is less of a country for having lost Downie.

Through tear-welled eyes, Trudeau commended Downie for his love of country, his profound ability to use words to create landscapes and his dedication to the plight of Indigenous Canadians.

"Gord was my friend, but Gord was everyone's friend," Trudeau said. "He knew, as great as we were, we needed to be better than we are," he added.

"Our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had, and not just loved it in a nebulous 'oh, I love Canada way,' he loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life."



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