Stephen Harper delivered a heartfelt eulogy to Jim Flaherty at his funeral Wednesday.

There were jokes and politics, but above all Harper focused on his admiration for his friend Jim.

You can read the full text of his prepared remarks below.

Governor General Johnston, Lieutenant Governor Onley, colleagues from the Parliament of Canada, distinguished representatives of the diplomatic corps and of provincial and municipal government, acquaintances and admirers of The Honourable Jim Flaherty from across the country, dear friends.

As I said last week, what a sad time this is in the life of our country.

Only a few weeks ago, we had the occasion to issue political tributes to an extraordinary colleague upon the announcement of his intention to retire from public life, with the full expectation of another life ahead of him.

Little did we know that we would be here today, with that future torn from him, and for us to deliver more profound reflections.

This has been a traumatic event for many of us, but, of course, none more so than Jim’s family.

Quinn, Galen, John, and especially Christine, we have lost a partner in politics, but you have lost a partner in life.

The turnout these past couple of days may be a small consolation, but it is the tip of the iceberg in a deep ocean of admiration and affection for Jim, and of much goodwill, kind thoughts and many prayers for you.

Please, take that to heart and God bless you.

For, I say, we have all lost a remarkable figure.

Il y a tellement de façons par lesquelles je pourrais vous décrire l’honorable Jim Flaherty.

C’était un homme profondément guidé par ses principes et impitoyablement pragmatique, combatif, mais aussi sympathique, intelligent et instruit, sans jamais prendre pour acquis qu’il connaissait tout.

There are so many ways I could describe The Honourable Jim Flaherty.

He was a man who highly principled and ruthlessly pragmatic, combative but engaging, smart and educated, while never assuming that he knew it all.

He could be hard-headed, yet also soft-hearted.

He could display a quick and biting temper, but, far more often, a deep and gentle sense of humour.

He particularly enjoyed – and delivered – many jokes about his own shortness.

He observed that he never got in the way of his own power points, but, short as he was, upon the world stage he strode like a giant.

I do not say these things to imply that Jim was a contradictory person.

He was not in any way.

As a human being he was the complete package.

And, I am sure, these last few days, he has been genuinely enjoying all the tributes and some of them he even believes.

But, in all seriousness, it is a fact that Jim, as fiercely partisan as he was, was also genuinely liked and respected by his opponents, liked by his enemies.

That’s something in this business, something I envy - I can’t even get my friends to like me.

There has been much talk about Jim’s record and legacy, especially the softer side of that record.

Jim n’était pas très porté sur les subventions, mais, en vrai conservateur, il croyait en l’aide apportée aux gens qui ne sont pas en mesure de s’aider eux-mêmes, ou qui avaient été frappés par la malchance.

Jim was not much for handouts.

But, as a true conservative, he believed in helping people who could not help themselves, or who had suffered misfortune.

And he especially believed in a hand up for those who needed, but only lacked, an opportunity, which is why he had a particular passion for, among others, the disabled.

I believe no single politician in the life of this country has done more for the disabled and their families than Jim Flaherty.

I could point to numerous initiatives, but Jim was most proud of his role in building the Durham Abilities Centre, dismissed by some at the time as a pork-barrel project, but now recognized as a tremendous regional institution and monument.

However, when all is said and done, Jim’s most important contribution to our country, without doubt, came by virtue of his long service as Minister of Finance, especially by virtue of being Minister of Finance during and after the great global recession of 2008-2009.

I ask you to indulge me for a few moments to talk about that role, because we are talking about Jim making history, and I had the ultimate, front-row seat.

It began back in the fall of 2005.

Mutual friends told me that Jim Flaherty wanted to come to see me to talk about his political future.

I had met Jim many times, but knew him really only through the strong, positive, testimony of others.

We had lunch in my office.

Jim told me he wanted a change and was interested in federal politics, but was a bit sheepish about the fact he had not supported my leadership campaign.

I told him that meant nothing now, because I believed there would be a federal election soon and that, contrary to most, I thought it more likely than not that we would win.

I also thought we badly needed someone with his abilities and experience.

Of course, I had Finance in mind from the beginning, but Jim was actually, somewhat surprised, somewhat reticent about the portfolio at first.

Though, it’s safe to say, it wasn’t long before he decided he would never let go of it.

La relation entre un Premier ministre et son ministre des Finances est toujours spéciale.

Mais celle-ci, je puis vous l’assurer, était plus spéciale encore que la plupart d’entre elles.

The relationship between a Prime Minister and his Finance Minister is always a special one.

But this, I can tell you, was more special than most.

Despite our very different educational backgrounds and life experiences, Jim and I were philosophically in sync on just about everything.

But, on the specifics of the many and complex priorities before us, we often had, at least initially, different views.

Now, we WASPs sometimes define an Irishman as someone, “who may not know where he stands, but is always ready to fight for it.”

Well, no one could ever accuse Jim of not having an opinion, and he certainly was always prepared to fight for it.

As we talked through budget planning meetings, our divergences always narrowed and usually vanished.

When they didn’t, occasionally I imposed a final decision.

Occasionally, I decided he was probably right.

And occasionally, I decided he was wrong but let him have his way, just because I got so tired of arguing with him.

By November 2008, Jim and I had both concluded, not easily and certainly not what would have been expected, that the calamity befalling the global economic and financial system meant, among others things, that we had to run a deficit.

That is, not merely allow a modest deficit, but deliberately engineer as large a deficit as could be reasonably run, as a response to a collapsing marketplace.

So this, Jim did.

Canada announced one of the world’s larger stimulus packages and he engineered the money out the door far more rapidly than most.

This people remember well.

What they remember less well is that that was not all there was to it.

Jim knew that, in the past, even modest, short-term deficit spending had resulted in severe, long-term fiscal problems.

So, even as he pushed out stimulus spending, he made changes in longer-term expenditure policies that would reduce their growth path.

And then, there was what Jim did not do.

He did not use the crisis to build new bureaucracies, to create permanent new programs, to recklessly enhance entitlements or to reverse any tax cut that had been legislated.

He took other actions in housing and banking to ensure even greater long-term stability in our financial system.

And he put constraints on any excessive experimentations in monetary policy.

The result is this.

While, at one time, Canada was no better than middle of the pack, today in an uncertain world, Canada will have a balanced budget years ahead of others, with low debt and low taxes, and is recognized to be the best managed major developed economy.

That, my friends, is Jim Flaherty’s legacy for this country.

It was something to see, up close.

A couple of years back, in Jim’s presence, a colleague tried to put me on the spot by saying, “Prime Minister, I think Jim Flaherty is the best Finance Minister in the world; do you think Jim Flaherty is the best Finance Minister in the world?”

Always being reluctant to shell out too much praise, but not wanting to disappoint Jim, I thought about it and found a line that met both our approvals.

I said, “Minister, I don’t know for sure in absolute terms if Jim is the best Finance Minister in the world, but he is without a doubt the best Finance Minister per inch in the world.”

But, friends, there is a back story to all of this.

As early as 2010, Jim said to me: “Prime Minister, I want to step down as Finance Minister and I don’t want to run again. I’ve been in public life for 15 years now. I want to go into the private sector, so that I can make some money and put more aside for my family. But,” he added, “I won’t do it unless I think we’re out of the woods and the job of getting back into balance is done.”

And every year after that, without any prompting from me, the call would come and Jim would say, “Prime Minister, I’m still worried about the global economy and we’re not yet in balance. I want to do one more budget.”

And so he did year after year, work away on the next phase of the Economic Action Plan, even as, in the past couple of years, it became more and more difficult for him, and sometimes hard to watch, as everyone of you could plainly see.

Yet, let me tell you, when it mattered Jim was always up to it.

He always came to our budget meetings prepared, ready to play the game, always willing to mix it up in the corners.

And in the process, year after year, he deliberately set his own plans aside and put off his goals for his family.

Why?

Because, at heart, he wasn’t in this, as is the stereotype, for money or for power.

Jim était motivé par la conviction, la loyauté à la cause et le devoir envers le pays.

Jim was driven by conviction, of loyalty to the cause and of duty to the country.

He believed he had taken on a responsibility for all of our families, not just his own and he was prepared to make sacrifices ultimately, although he did not know it, to sacrifice himself.

This year, looking at the state of the markets and the numbers in the budget, I knew that, when Jim’s call came, it would be different.

And so, a few weeks ago in my office, I accepted his resignation and I told Jim that…

La réunion qui a eu lieu en deux-mille-cinq s’est avérée l’une des meilleures décisions de ma carrière politique, l’une des plus importantes pour notre gouvernement, et l’une des plus significatives pour notre pays.

Qu’il avait réalisé un travail formidable, accompli ce qu’il avait compté faire et que j’ai compris et apprécié le sacrifice que cela avait comporté.

I told Jim that the meeting back in 2005 had been one of the best decisions of my political career, one of the most important for this government, and one of the most meaningful ever for our country.

That he had done a great job, accomplished what he set out to do, and that I understood and appreciated the sacrifice that it had entailed.

And I told Jim that he had truly been over these eight years, in my judgement, the best Finance Minister in the world, if not indeed, the best in our history.

I also wished him well in his next career and told him not to be a stranger.

Friends, I admit to you that I do not grieve for Jim.

I know that for Jim, the Lord has prepared a place where he can be free from the afflictions of recent times and in joy.

No, my friends, when a good one leaves, grief is for those who are left behind.

So, one more word for those, specifically for John and Galen and Quinn, “the boys,” as your father always called you.

Let me just say this.

I lost my own father almost exactly to the day, 11 years ago.

From that period, I remember almost nothing of what I said or what was said to me, so powerful were the waves of emotion.

But once that passed, and perspective took hold, I came to appreciate my father’s place in my life, probably even more fully and deeply than if he were still here.

And it is all good.

And it will be for you.

You are not “the boys” any longer.

You are young men.

Hold on to your mother and to your father’s lessons, and know that there are many here and beyond who are there for you.

And, I say once again, from Laureen and my family and from all my colleagues, God bless you, the family, and farewell to our friend, Jim.

On behalf of a grateful country, we thank you.

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  • Quinn Flaherty speaks to his mother Christine Elliott during the state funeral for her late husband Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Christine Elliott touches the casket of her late husband at the state funeral for the Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Christine Elliott and her son Quinn walk by the casket of her late husband at the state funeral for the Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Stephen Harper delivers the eulogy at the state funeral for Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harperwalks past the casket of Jim Flaherty during the during the former finance minister's state funeral in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Christine Elliott, right to left, and her sons Quinn, John and Galen wait for the start of the state funeral for her late husband Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Christine Elliott, right, and her sons wait for the start of the state funeral for her late husband Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Christine Elliott, right, and her sons wait for the start of the state funeral for her late husband Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Members of the RCMP carry the casket bearing Jim Flaherty as it arrives at his state funeral in Toronto on Wednesday April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • The casket carried by RCMP members carrying the late Jim Flaherty arrives at the church for the state funeral in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

  • Christine Elliott, right, widow of the late Jim Flaherty, and one of their three triplet sons are saluted while arriving at the state funeral for the former Finance Minister in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The former federal Finance Minister died of a suspected heart attack in Ottawa last week at the age of 64. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks down as he waits for the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, and his wife Laureen talk as they wait for the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Governor General David Johnston, left to right, shakes hands with Prime Minster Stephen Harper, as Sharon Johnston hugs Laureen Harper at they wait for the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Former prime minister John Turner arrives for the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Former prime minister Brian Mulroney, left, and his daughter Caroline arrive at the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, left, and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, centre, wait for the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, right, talks to Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa as they wait for the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Finance Minister Joe Oliver waits inside the church at the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, centre, talks to fellow mourners before the start of the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his wife Renata arrive at the church for the state funeral for the late Jim Flaherty in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

  • The funeral procession for Jim Flaherty makes its way down the DVP to the state funeral for the late former finance minister in Toronto on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Flaherty died of a suspected heart attack in Ottawa last week at the age of 64. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

  • Ontario MPP Christine Elliott looks over at the casket of her husband, the late former finance minister Jim Flaherty, during visition in Whitby, Ontario on Tuesday April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Ontario MPP Christine Elliott (left) wipes a tear as she stands with her sons during the visition for her husband, the late former finance minister Jim Flaherty, in Whitby, Ontario on Tuesday April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Ontario MPP Christine Elliott, left, hugs MP Kelly Leitch in front of the casket of her husband, the late former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, during visitation in Whitby, Ont., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • MP Kellie Lietch blows a kiss to the casket of the late former finance minister Jim Flaherty during visition in Whitby, Ontario on Tuesday April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney chats with the family of the late former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty in front of his casket during visitation in Whitby, Ont., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • RCMP officers stand next to Jim Flaherty's casket during visitation at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ont., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • A mourner signs a condolence book as he pays respects at the visitation for Jim Flaherty in Whitby, Ont., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The former federal finance minister died of a heart attack in Ottawa last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • Mourners queue to pay their respects at the visitation for Jim Flaherty in Whitby, Ont., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The former federal finance minister died of a heart attack in Ottawa last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • A lineup of mourners is silhouetted against the setting sun as a video screen plays a slide show of the late Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty during visition in Whitby, Ontario on Tuesday April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • UP NEXT: Flaherty Through The Years

  • Jim Flaherty with his wife(left) after giving his speech at the Provincial Progressive Conservative Party Leadership Convention, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Mar. 22, 2002 Photo by Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

  • Jim Flaherty posing with the Stanley Cup while on the campaign trail for the provincial PC leadership at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Feb. 26, 2002 Photo by Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

  • Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate, Jim Flaherty, on Feb. 27, 2002 Photo by Tibor Kolley / The Globe and Mail

  • At the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leadership debate, Chris Stockwell looks on as Jim Flaherty, left, gets some last minute touch-up to his make-up. Picture taken on Feb.27, 2002. Photo by Tibor Kolley

  • Jim Flaherty becomes new Ontario finance minister, after Ernie Eves resigned from the post. New cabinet members were sworn in today, February 8, 2001, at Queen's Park. Photo by Patti Gower / The Globe and Mail.

  • Jim Flaherty becomes new Ontario finance minister, after Ernie Eves resigned from the post. New cabinet members were sworn in today, February 8, 2001, at Queen's Park. Photo by Patti Gower / The Globe and Mail.

  • Sunday. Mar.18/07. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will deliver the budget in Ottawa tomorrow.During a pre-budget photo op, he purchased a pair of Canadian-made skates for his son John (16) at Blades Custom Skate Care Inc. in Whitby, Ont. The skates are CCM Reebok 9K pump skates. The total price including all taxes was $456.00. Before the photo op he was scrummed by the media. Pictures taken on Mar.15/ 2007 Photo by Tibor Kolley

  • Canadian Finance minister Jim Flaherty smiles as he takes part in a conference during a meeting of the Group of eight (G8) Finance in Lecce on June 12, 2009. World powers launched a project on the sidelines of G8 talks to develop vaccines against pneumococcal diseases as part of a new market-based mechanism for the developing world. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tables the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Thursday March 4, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty shows a green shoe as he shops in Ottawa on March 28, 2012 for a new pair of shoes as part of the tradition of budget day. The tradition holds that Ministers of Finance purchase or wear new shoes when the budget is delivered. AFP PHOTO/ROGERIO BARBOSA (Photo credit should read ROGERIO BARBOSA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty successfully exits an igloo outside the Nunavut legislature in Iqaluit, Canada during a break in proceedings at the G7 Finance Ministers Meeting, February 6, 2010. Moments earlier Minister Flaherty dislodged a large piece of snow from the entry way of another smaller igloo as he attempted to exit. AFP PHOTO/ GEOFF ROBINS (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks to reporters at the Port of Montreal, Monday, September 27, 2010. Flaherty insists the government will be "fair and reasonable" in assisting stimulus projects that are supposed to be complete by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

  • Hanoi, VIET NAM: Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (R) meets with his Vietnamese counterpart Vu Van Ninh during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the APEC finances ministers' meeting held in Hanoi 07 September 2006. Pacific Rim finance ministers will this week push for renewed talks to free up global trade and pledge steps against terrorist financing, according to a draft of a joint statement. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • France's Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment Christine Lagarde (L), Canada's Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty (C) and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner attend the final press conference for the G7 Finance Ministers Meeting in Iqaluit, Canada, February 6, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ GEOFF ROBINS (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • From left: Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling watch as US President George W. Bush delivers a statement with G7 finance ministers and heads of international financial institutions October 11, 2008 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty poses for a photo following an interview in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

  • Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper enter the House of Commons on budget day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle