MONTREAL – Friends, colleagues, opponents and ordinary citizens called on Montreals Notre-Dame Basilica on Monday to offer condolences to the family of former Quebec premiere Bernard Landry, who died last week at the age of 81.
Landry's daughter, Pascale, told reporters that the family has received homage for his father from across the province and around the world.
"The wave of sympathy really surprised me and shocked me," she said, "but it also comforted me, and what I love to see is that there are people everywhere who gave us their sympathy."
Inside the basilica, Landry's closed coffin was hit in a Quebec flag next to a large photo of him.
The former liberal premiere Jean Charest was one of the first to come to pay his respect.
Charest said that his former party of Quebecois opponents "would make us suffer during the debate".
Charest welcomed Landry's investment in the province's video game industry and his financial vision for the province.
"He gave economic credibility to the sovereignty movement," said Charest.
Charest's successor Pauline Marois, who held several portfolios in the Landry Government, struck an emotional tone.
"We always have the impression that people like this will never go, will never leave us," she said.
The funeral of Quebec's 28th premiere will be held on Tuesday afternoon in the basilica. His body also lay in the state of Quebec in Quebec City at the provincial legislature.
Landry's health had failed in recent months and he died in Vercheres, Que, November 6th. of complications from lung diseases.
After Lucien Bouchard resigned as Prime Minister in January 2001, Landry replaced him as PQ leader and prime minister. He served two years before being defeated in April 2003 by Jean Charest's Liberals.