Alberta Conservative MP dies in Ottawa office of heart attack at 41

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Alberta Conservative MP Jim Hillyer is shown leaving the centre block as newly-elected members of Parliament take part in an orientation session on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose confirms that Hillyer has died at the age of 41.

OTTAWA - Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose confirms that Alberta MP Jim Hillyer has died at the age of 41.

Hillyer was first elected to the House of Commons in 2011 in the Lethbridge riding and was re-elected last fall in the new riding of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.

Initial reports suggest he died of a heart attack in his office, just off Parliament Hill.

Hillyer was a cancer survivor and had a bone marrow transplant in 2003.

In his 2011 campaign, Hillyer was dubbed “The Man Who Wasn't There” by local media after he avoided interviews and refused to participate in public forums.

Nonetheless, he won easily.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our friend and colleague, Jim Hillyer,” Ambrose said in a statement.

“Jim was a valued and hardworking member of the Conservative team, and a passionate advocate for those he represented. More than that, he was a dedicated husband and father, and a man of strong faith and conviction. I pray that his and his family's faith will help them through this very difficult time.”

Organizations: Alberta Conservative MP, House of Commons

Geographic location: Ottawa, Lethbridge, Parliament Hill

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