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Brian Mulroney exposed in ardent chapel in Montreal

Photo: Ryan Remiorz The Canadian Press The coffin of the former prime minister was transported to Saint-Patrick's Basilica in Montreal for its exhibition in the state chapel.

Stéphane Blais – The Canadian Press

12:13 p.m.

  • Canada

The remains of former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney arrived Thursday morning in Montreal, where dignitaries and the general public are invited to pay their last respects.

The dignitaries began parading shortly after 10:30 a.m. Former prime ministers Pierre-Marc Johnson, Lucien Bouchard and Jean Charest notably went to greet the Mulroney family. We were also able to see the president and CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, as well as the former leader of the Bloc Québécois Gilles Duceppe.

“We say goodbye to a great statesman, a friend of Quebec, a great friend of Quebec,” confided Lucien Bouchard, as he left the basilica, visibly out of breath with emotion.

“But also a friend from our youth. So yes, these are not very cheerful times,” he added after long pauses.

His successor, former Prime Minister Jean Charest spoke of an occasion “both sad, but at the same time solemn for the country”.

“I hope that all Canadians will have the opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved together and especially what Brian Mulroney has done for us,” he said.

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The ardent chapel exhibition takes place at the Basilica of Saint-Patrick, in downtown Montreal, until Friday.

At 10 a.m., the procession of around ten vehicles began arriving at the basilica. Under the sound of bells, Mr. Mulroney's widow, Mila, was the first to exit the procession and was surrounded by her four children, Caroline, Ben, Mark and Nicolas. Mrs. Mulroney's stepchildren and one of her granddaughters were also there.

Pallbearers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police then carried the body into the basilica through the main doors, followed by the Mulroney family.

The location was surrounded by a very heavy police presence; snipers were present on the surrounding buildings.

Brian Mulroney's parents were of Irish descent and according to Canadian Heritage, the Mulroney family has many personal ties to St. Patrick's Basilica, which “served the Irish community of Montreal at one time where it was increasing rapidly, with many people leaving Ireland following the Great Famine and other hardships.”

During the state funeral, the body of the deceased will be constantly guarded by “a watch detachment”, composed in particular of sentries from the Canadian Armed Forces, police officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and members of the Parliamentary Protective Service.

From 10:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, visits are reserved for dignitaries and those invited by the former prime minister's family.

Public tours are from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Citizens wishing to bid farewell to Brian Mulroney will be required to undergo a security check.

Canadian Heritage asks members of the public not to bring bags or objects in order to speed up the screening process.

Condolence books will be made available to dignitaries and the public.

The state funeral of Mr. Mulroney will be celebrated Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Notre-Dame Basilica, in Old Montreal.

Eulogies are to be delivered by his daughter Caroline and by Justin Trudeau, Pierre Karl Péladeau, Jean Charest, Wayne Gretzky and former US Secretary of State James Baker.

The man who governed Canada for ten years, between 1984 and 1993, died on February 29 at the age of 84.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116