Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry, a sharp-tongued soldier for the independence movement and longtime Parti Quebecois stalwart, died Tuesday at the age of 81.
Landry, who once outraged Canadians by referring to the Maple Leaf as "bits of red rag," died without seeing his vision of an independent Quebec fulfilled.
His health had been failing in recent months, and he died at home in Vercheres, Que. of complications from pulmonary disease, his personal assistant, Odette Morin, told The Canadian Press.
Before becoming premier, he held many prominent government posts with the Parti Quebecois, including deputy premier and finance minister.
After Lucien Bouchard resigned as premier in January 2001, Landry replaced him as PQ leader and premier. He would serve two years before being defeated in the April 2003 election by Jean Charest's Liberals.
One his major accomplishments was the 2002 landmark deal between the Quebec government and the Crees, known as the Peace of the Brave.
The 50-year economic and political agreement was signed to develop part of the province's James Bay territory in concert with the Cree community.