Mr. Speaker, Quebec has lost a great patriot. Former premier Bernard Landry passed away yesterday, leaving behind a great legacy, including the development agreement with the Cree nation known as the “Paix des Braves”.
Mr. Landry was deeply committed to Quebec's independence, culture and economy. From his economic policy statement, Bâtir le Québec, in the 1970s to the digital era in the 2000s, he always believed that the government should intervene in the economy.
Let us talk about his achievements. As finance minister, he balanced the budget and was a strong supporter of free trade in 1988. That took a lot of courage because his views put him at odds with his usual allies from the trade-union left. However, he supported free trade for the good of Quebec. As he often said, “country before party”.
I knew him when I was a journalist and he never refused an interview. Once he told me, as a family man, and I quote, “Politics is hard on families so when I am with my kids, I am with them 100%.” I try to follow that advice as much as possible.
He never had it easy. He was defeated twice before getting elected and ran in three leadership races before becoming leader, but this activist never stopped. Even at the very end of his life, he was trying to persuade people, as we saw recently.
The great Quebec patriot has died. Goodbye, Premier Landry.