06/03/2015 09:37 EDT | Updated 06/03/2016 05:59 EDT

Former PM Brian Mulroney says Jacques Parizeau 'was a great builder' of Quebec

MONTREAL - Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says the late Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau was a great builder of the Quebecois nation.

Speaking to reporters after a speech in Montreal on Wednesday evening, Mulroney said Parizeau, who died Monday at 84 years old, was someone who "accomplished great things."

"He didn't achieve his ultimate political objective," Mulroney said of Parizeau's desire to make Quebec a country, "but it's a free country and you're entitled to those opinions."

Mulroney, who was prime minister between 1984 and 1993, said he knew Parizeau for 50 years and always found him courteous and a pleasure to speak with.

He also mentioned how the late Quebec premier was often referred to as "Monsieur" by journalists and colleagues.

"We always called him Monsieur, but he should be called a 'Great Monsieur,' and in English, a gentleman."