Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hundred Line Up to Attend the Public Visitation for Former Quebec Premier Parizeau

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hundred Line Up to Attend the Public Visitation for Former Quebec Premier Parizeau

Article excerpt

Montrealers line up to pay respects to Parizeau

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MONTREAL - Hundreds of people lined up to pay their respects to former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau on Saturday at a building that will soon bear his name.

The first of two days of public visitations began in Montreal this morning at the Caisse de depots et placement du Quebec, the provincial pension fund manager that Parizeau helped create in the 1960s.

At times, the lineup extended well around the block as people waited patiently to visit Parizeau's closed coffin, which was draped with a Quebec flag and accompanied by a photograph of the former premier, who died last Monday at the age of 84.

"I think people of all political stripes know what we owe Jacques Parizeau," said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the first of many elected officials to view the casket.

Couillard told assembled reporters that Parizeau was a "great builder" of modern Quebec "who served all his life, in his way, according to his convictions."

He highlighted Parizeau's role in the creation of the Caisse de Depots, and reiterated his decision to name the downtown building after him.

Many prominent political figures came to pay tribute to blunt-talking former premier, best-known for bringing Quebec to within a hair's breadth of separating from Canada during the 1995 referendum.

These included Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe and Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau, who was loudly applauded by the waiting crowd.

Peladeau, accompanied by his young son, spoke quietly to reporters about the man he called a "source of inspiration" to him.

He acknowledged he was feeling sad. "I think all Quebecers are sad today because we lost a great man."

Even those who disagreed with Parizeau's separatist politics praised him as a man of dignity with great respect for others and for Quebec's public institutions. …

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