Politicians, friends and citizens pay their respects in memory of Bernard Landry

Members of the public can pay their respects to former premier Bernard Landry at the National Assembly from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.

Casket of former Quebec premier exposed at National Assembly on Saturday

The casket of former Quebec premier Bernard Landry arrives before lying in state at the National Assembly in Quebec City on Saturday November 10. (Clement Allard/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Former colleagues, friends and members of the public are lining up at the National Assembly today to pay their respects to former premier Bernard Landry.

Landry died on Tuesday at the age of 81.

His casket was carried into the Salon Rouge on Saturday morning, followed by his wife, Chantal Renaud, and his three children from a previous marriage, Julie, Philippe and Pascale.

Politicians of all banners were present for the ceremony that is open to the public until 6 p.m. today.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault looks on with his wife Isabelle Brais to the casket of former Quebec premier Bernard Landry. (Clement Allard/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Premier François Legault was one of the first to offer his condolences to Landry's family.

Legault was a cabinet minister in the Parti Québécois government during the time Landry was premier from 2001 to 2003.

He said much of the modern economic development of the province was modelled by Landry's decision-making.

Legault said Landry taught him not only how to run a government but also the responsibility that comes with it.

"For him, it was always important to put the common good ahead of partisanship," Legault said.

Bernard Landry, pictured here in 2001 when he was acclaimed leader of the Parti Québécois. A week later, Landry was sworn in as 28th premier of Quebec. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

The interim leader of the Parti Québécois, Pascal Bérubé, said he wanted to pay tribute to "this giant that was Bernard Landry."

"We will step up to this immense legacy he left us," he said.

Former premier Lucien Bouchard also paid his respects Saturday, saying that the event brought up a lot of emotion for him.

"It's a revival of so many memories, images, emotions," he said. "We did a lot of things together: debates, contradictions, projects. And Bernard was very alive. He was a very lovely guy." 

"To come back here, where we met and worked ... and now to see him lying in state in one of those rooms where we worked, it's something to digest."

Former Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard walks beside the casket of Bernard Landry on Saturday. (Clement Allard/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Landry was first sworn in at the National Assembly in 1976, the first year the Parti Québécois formed the government.

A state funeral is being held for Landry at Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica on Tuesday at 2 p.m.