Stephen Harper to be in Ottawa for Remembrance Day, China trip in doubt

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Ottawa for Remembrance Day and will not be in attendance for the APEC economic leaders' meeting in Beijing Nov. 10-11, his spokesman says.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, place a wreath during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa last year. The prime minister's spokesman says Harper will remain in Canada for Remembrance Day and will miss the APEC leaders' summit in Beijing. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Ottawa for Remembrance Day.

Harper spokesman Jason MacDonald says the prime minister will not be in attendance for the APEC economic leaders' meeting in Beijing Nov. 10-11.

Instead, he'll be on hand for Remembrance Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill in two weeks' time. MacDonald says Harper's travel to China is now up in the air.

"Details are still being worked out," he said when asked if another government official will attend the APEC meeting in the prime minister's place.

Harper was scheduled to travel to Australia for a G20 meeting following the APEC summit. A trip to New Zealand might also still be in the offing, although nothing's yet been confirmed between Canadian and New Zealand officials.

Remembrance Day has taken on a special significance this year in the aftermath of the two recent slayings of Canadian soldiers on domestic soil. Both killers had expressed jihadist sympathies, the RCMP says.

In Ottawa, veterans will gather at the War Memorial, where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down last week by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who died a few minutes later in a gunfight inside the Parliament Buildings.

The memorial has since become a makeshift shrine to Cirillo, with bouquets of flowers piled high in tribute.

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