While in London for the Queen’s funeral, Trudeau also discusses economy and Ukraine with leaders

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined his British counterpart and other world leaders in London on Sunday as talks about the economy and the war in Ukraine took their place alongside the sombre preparations for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

Trudeau spent about 40 minutes at 10 Downing Street in the early afternoon to meet Liz Truss and also met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

At a press conference later in the afternoon, he said the ongoing war in Ukraine was high on the agenda of his meeting with Truss, after offering his condolences for the first time on the loss of the Queen, Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

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“Obviously, Britain and Canada have been two of the strongest countries in supporting Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions, which increasingly include war crimes,” he said.

Trudeau pointed to a mass burial site reported near a recaptured northeastern town previously occupied by Russian forces, as well as previous reports of killings and torture in Bucha, outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. He called for Russia and its president to be held accountable.

“Vladimir Putin, his supporters and the Russian military must be held accountable for the atrocities they have committed and continue to commit in Ukraine,” Trudeau said.

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The Prime Minister said he and his British counterpart had also discussed inflation and negotiations for a Canada-UK trade deal, which he said were “moving along well”.

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Trudeau was also due to meet Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and attend an evening reception at Buckingham Palace later on Sunday before attending the Queen’s state funeral on Monday morning.

Trudeau praised the late monarch for her “70 years of exceptional service to Canada” and her ability to engage with the public.

“Every time I have met Her Majesty, her generosity and grace made that moment the most important of all time,” he said.

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“She had a way of reaching out and connecting with everyone she met and connecting with crowds and people she’d only seen on TV.”

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Trudeau brushed off a question about whether the Queen’s death was the right time to reconsider Canada’s ties to the monarchy.

He said that while “there are always moments to think,” Canadians expected him to focus on other issues such as the economy, cost of living, housing and climate change.

In this 1997 file photo, Queen Elizabeth walks with then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in Ottawa. Chrétien described the late monarch as someone with “star power”. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Jean Chrétien, one of the four former prime ministers who traveled to London with Trudeau as part of the Canadian delegation, described the Queen as someone with “star power” who commanded respect.

He drew laughs when he told a story about how, on one of her visits, he sang the national anthem for the Queen in the Northwest Territories, only to discover he didn’t know the words in English.

“I was sweating,” he said. “My wife has never been so shy in her life.”

He said he met King Charles III the next summer. met, who was Prince of Wales at the time, and was told of his singing O Canada had become “part of royal folklore”.

You can catch the live broadcast of the Queen’s funeral Monday from 5 p.m. ET on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app. At 12:00 p.m. ET, the broadcast will transfer to Ottawa for a national memorial ceremony. CBC News Network will rebroadcast the funeral at 7 p.m. ET.

CBC Radio One’s live coverage of funerals begins at 5:30 p.m. ET and will also be available via the CBC Listen app.

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