Ex cab­i­net min­is­ter dies in plane crash


For­mer Lib­eral cab­i­net min­is­ter Jean Lapierre, his wife and other mem­bers of his fam­ily died in a plane crash Tues­day as they headed to east­ern Que­bec to at­tend his fa­ther’s fu­neral.

Lapierre’s spouse, Ni­cole Beaulieu, two of his brothers and one of his sis­ters were among the seven vic­tims.

Lapierre, 59, tweeted Mon­day that his fa­ther, Ray­mond C. Lapierre, had passed away af­ter a long fight against Parkin­son’s dis­ease.

The plane crashed in a field near the air­port in Havre-aux-Maisons in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine.

Am­bu­lance tech­ni­cian Benoit Leblanc said six of the seven peo­ple were de­clared dead at the scene, while a sev­enth per­son died later af­ter suf­fer­ing car­diac ar­rest.

The plane was a Mit­subishi tur­bo­prop and is be­lieved to have be­longed to a pri­vate com- pany. The Trans­porta­tion Safety Board of Canada was to send a team of in­ves­ti­ga­tors to the scene.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada had is­sued an alert for strong winds in the re­gion.

Lapierre was first elected to the Com­mons in 1979 and served un­til 1990 when he joined the Bloc Que­be­cois.

He left pol­i­tics in the early 1990s and then re­turned to the Lib­eral fold in 2004 un­der Paul Martin, who named him trans­port min­is­ter.

Lapierre was a prom­i­nent broad­caster and po­lit­i­cal jour- nal­ist in Que­bec and was very ac­tive on Twit­ter.

Trib­utes poured in Tues­day fol­low­ing news of the crash.

Many well-known Que­bec jour­nal­ists posted mes­sages on so­cial me­dia dur­ing the day, beg­ging Lapierre to say some­thing to deny ru­mours he was on board the plane.

Mon­treal Mayor De­nis Coderre, who worked with Lapierre when they were both MPs in Paul Martin’s Lib­eral gov­ern­ment, said the pop­u­lar pun­dit was able to ex­plain pol­i­tics to Que­be­cers in a sim­ple, suc­cinct way.


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