Quebec's former prime minister Bernard Landry died at age 81.
Parti Québécois's former leader and long-time force ruled between 2001 and 2003 until he was defeated by Quebec liberals under the leadership of Jean Charest. He was also the leader of the leftist separatist party from 2001 to 2005 after Lucien Bouchard resigned.
"The guy was a great man, an important man in the history of Quebec," Quebec City Minister François Legault said.
His health had failed in recent months and he died in his home at Verchères, Que., From complications of lung disease. The death of Landry was confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
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"My heart broke with the news of Premier Landry's death," said interim leader PQ, Pascal Bérubé, on Twitter. "On behalf of Parti Québécois, I offer my most sincere condolences to his family, to his friends and to all sovereigners of Québec."
PQ MNA Catherine Fournier said Landry's legacy "will continue to inspire the next generation."
"A country, we will do it thanks to its contribution," he said in social media.
"Be sure that we will take the lantern high."
Régis Labeaume, the mayor of the city of Quebec, described the death of the former minister as "a great loss for Quebec."
"Mr. Landry has made a mark in the nation of Quebec, his contribution has been highlighted and he has always promoted our language, our culture and our identity," he said in a statement.
A fiery sovereign from the beginning
A ardent sovereign, Landry was a student activist in the 60s. He obtained a law degree from the University of Montreal before studying economics and finance at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris.
The native of Saint-Jacques was only 27 when the founder of PQ René Lévesque took him to the sphere of Quebec's policy. He was unsuccessful in 1970 and 1973 under the flag of the party, but finally he got a seat to mount Fabre in 1976.
During his time with the party, Landry held several prominent positions, beginning with the Minister of State for economic development. He was also Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Trade and International Relations.
In 1994, he was appointed vice premier by the then premier Jacques Parizeau. Folded as "super minister", he also held several positions, including the minister of international affairs, immigration and cultural communities.
He acted as Deputy Prime Minister of Quebec until 2001, when he assumed the position of Bouchard.
After PQ was defeated in the provincial elections of 2003, Landry stayed as the party leader until he left politics in 2005.
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The last time that Landry was seen in public was last May 21, when he participated in the Day of Patriotic activities.
His first wife Lorena Laporte-Landry died of cancer in 1999. He left his second wife Chantal Renaud and her three children, Julie, Philippe and Pascale.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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