Former Quebec premier dies

One of Quebec's staunchest crusaders for separation has died.

Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry was 81.

Landry, premier between 2001 and 2003, dedicated decades of his life to the sovereigntist cause and was part of every significant political battle fought by the PQ since its inception in 1968.

His health had been failing in recent months, and in mid-October he began receiving visits from old friends and political allies at his home in Vercheres.

Landry was at home alongside his family when he died of complications from a pulmonary disease.

Political leaders say Landry will be remembered for his strong political convictions, his economic vision for the province and his love of Quebec.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to Landry without mentioning his commitment to sovereignty.

Landry blasted Ottawa for insisting an offer of 18 million dollars in renovation funding for a Quebec City zoo was conditional on the inclusion of English signs and the Canadian flag.

He snarled, ``We're not for sale, we have no intention of selling ourselves on the street for bits of red rag.''

He later claimed the quote ``red rag'' was wrong and mistranslated.