MONTREAL – Jacques Parizeau, the blunt-talking former separatist Quebec premier who came close to taking the French-speaking province out of Canada, has died. He was 84.
Current Separatist Parti Quebcois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau confirmed the death Tuesday.
Peladeau says the entire province is in mourning. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper extended condolences.
The blustery, mustachioed Parizeau was premier during the 1995 provincial referendum when Quebecois voted against separation by a slim margin in a referendum.
In career-ending comments on referendum night, Parizeau blamed "money and the ethnic vote" for the loss and was roundly criticized to the point that he resigned as premier a day later.