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State funeral for former Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney to be held March 23

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A state funeral for former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will be held on March 23 in Montreal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

Mulroney died Feb. 29 at a Florida hospital following a recent fall at his Palm Beach home. He was 84.

Lawmakers are expected to pay tribute to Canada’s 18th prime minister in the House of Commons when Members of Parliament return to Ottawa on March 18 after a two-week break.

Members of the public will be able to pay their respects to Mulroney in Ottawa when he lies in state on Parliament Hill. Details on the specific location for the funeral and more information about the public viewings are expected soon.

Mulroney led the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and served nearly nine years as prime minister between 1984 and 1993.

He is remembered for being the leader to usher in new trade relations with the United States, first with the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and later the first version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mulroney eulogized both President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush at their funerals.

He was also passionate about environmental causes, leading a global treaty to protect the ozone layer and signing a pact with the U.S. to reduce the pollution that causes acid rain.

South Africa remembers him for helping champion an end to apartheid as a leader within the Commonwealth group of nations.

And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted Mulroney was the first western leader to recognize an independent Ukraine.