MONTREAL - Many well-known politicians were among the crowd who attended the funeral for former mayoral candidate Marcel Cote at the Mount Royal Funeral Home Friday.

Premier Philippe Couillard was amongst those offering tribute. “You know how involved he was for his city, for the arts and culture and Montreal and for the business environment as well. He advised many premiers and prime ministers as well,” said Couillard.

Another onetime premier also weighed in. “We were not always on the same side but I was involved with him in many professional activities because he was very active,” said former Premier Lucien Bouchard.

Denis Coderre, who by rights should have been a rival to his onetime mayoral opponent, later recruited Cote and also sang his praises Friday.

“Both of us are what-you-see-is-what-you-get and he was never there to please anyone. He was there to tell his thoughts,” said the mayor.

And one local business leader was still having trouble grasping the fact that the always-vibrant Cote is suddenly gone.

"I cannot imagine his death because he was always so alive. always moving.and always having ideas," said Francoise Bertrand of the Federation of Quebec Chamberes of Commerce.

Cote, 71, came in fourth in last November's election but his mind was seen as top-notch by his many friends and associates, one of whom saluted him for his ability to see over natural divisions.

"You could not harness Marcel, He was a free thinker and so he difficulty with party lines," said former Finance Minister Raymond Bachand.

Cote died on May 25 after he suffering a heart attack during a charity bike ride.

He is survived by his wife, a sister and four brothers.

Cote advised to several ministers and top politicians in Quebec and Canada, including Robert Bourassa and Brian Mulroney. He was a founding partner of the consulting firm SECOR management, which he led for over 30 years.

The businessman was active in several cultural and community organizations.

After his defeat in last year’s mayoral race, he agreed to volunteer as a special advisor to Denis Coderre.