A bitter fight over Robert Stanfield's estate has sprawled over three years, prompted legal action in two provinces, and is now robbing the former Nova Scotia premier and leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives of his headstone.
Known as "the best prime minister Canada never had," Mr. Stanfield died in 2003 at the age of 89. He was buried at Halifax's Camp Hill cemetery, alongside other prominent Canadians such as brewer Alexander Keith and Joseph Howe, a former premier.
Mr. Stanfield's gravesite has now become embroiled in a legal battle between his third wife, Anne, and his four children from his first marriage.
Ms. Stanfield had the tombstone removed last fall, reportedly with plans to install a larger monument. The move angered her stepchildren, who argue Ms. Stanfield had no right to alter their family burial plot until a larger dispute over Mr. Stanfield's estate is settled. Last Thursday, the children filed a request for an injunction at a Halifax courthouse, asking Ms. Stanfield be barred from installing a new headstone and "restore the Stanfield lot to its previous condition."
Mr. Stanfield's son, Max, previously told the CBC that he and his siblings did not believe that their father would want a larger tombstone.
The tombstone dispute is just the latest fight in an ongoing family feud. In 2004, Mr. Stanfield's children launched legal action in Ontario, contending their father was not mentally competent when he altered his will in 1998 in order to award the bulk of his estate to his third wife.
Let the wife and children fight over the estate until there's nothing left.
But a man of Stanfield's public stature should not be left to lie under an unmarked grave like a pauper. Let the province put up the memorial, if necessary.
Source: National Post