Ray Hnatyshyn lies in state

Body of former governor general Ray Hnatyshyn lies in state in Senate Chamber

The casket of Ray Hnatyshyn was placed in the Senate Chamber on Sunday, where the former governor general will lie in state until his funeral.

The public has a final opportunity to pay their respects on Monday morning, beginning at 9 a.m.

Hnatyshyn's casket was carried into the Parliament Buildings by a bearer party made up of eight members of the Governor General's foot guard in their scarlet ceremonial uniforms.

Family members followed as the party carried the flag-draped casket past Christmas trees through the festively decorated hallways.

Once the casket was placed in the Senate Chamber, the family was given a few minutes of privacy.

Then officials, including Prime Minister Jean Chrtien, paid their respects.

Heritage Minister Sheila Copps also paid her respects before reflecting on her friendship with Hnatyshyn.

"I was a member of the infamous Rat Pack and he was the Government House Leader, so we were the thorns in his side every single day," she said. "And yet, at the end of the day, we would always get together and actually share a friendship. And that's something that people don't do as much today."

Flags on Parliament Hill were at half-mast until sundown Sunday.

Queen Elizabeth sent a wreath that included white roses and baby's breath.

A state funeral will be held Monday at Christ Church Cathedral beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage on CBC TV and CBC Newsworld begins at 1 p.m.

Governor general from 1990 to 1995, Hnatyshyn died Wednesday of complications from pancreatitis at an Ottawa hospital. He was 68.

Prior to his vice-regal appointment, Hnatyshyn was a Progressive Conservative member of Parliament for 14 years, serving in the cabinets of Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney.

The Saskatoon-born politician said being appointed governor general was the greatest honour possible for an "average Canadian."

He is survived by his wife Gerda and sons John and Carl.