Ex-cabinet minister Jean Lapierre and several relatives die in plane crash

The Canadian Press
Published on March 29, 2016

HAVRE-AUX-MAISONS, Que. - 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 following his father's death.

The victims included Lapierre's spouse, Nicole Beaulieu.

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

RELATED: Tributes pour in for ex-minister Jean Lapierre after his death in plane crash

The plane crashed in a field near the airport in Havre-aux-Maisons in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, north of Prince Edward Island.

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 journalist in Quebec and was very active on Twitter.


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Tributes pour in for ex-minister Jean Lapierre after his death in plane crash

Tributes poured in Tuesday for ex-federal cabinet minister Jean Lapierre following his death in a plane crash in eastern Quebec.

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.

Lapierre, his wife and other members of his family died as they headed to the Iles-de-la-Madeleine for his father's funeral.

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.

“He was above all a communicator,” Coderre told reporters at a news conference at city hall. “He could say a lot in a few words. He used his colourful commentary to make us understand (politics) in few words and left no one indifferent.”

Politicians of all stripes also weighed in on the death of the 59-year-old, who first served as a Liberal MP in 1979 before switching to the Bloc Quebecois in 1990.

“An utter shock to learn of the death of Jean Lapierre and many family members,” tweeted NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “Deepest condolences to those grieving this tragic loss.”

Conservative MP and former immigration minister Jason Kenney wrote on the social network, “Terrible news. Condolences to the loved ones of Jean and all of those lost aboard this flight. RIP.”

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly tweeted, “My condolences to those close to Jean Lapierre, an important political commentator. Jean, your fine analysis and aplomb will be missed.”

Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau tweeted, “Sad news of the passing of an exceptional man. My sincere condolences to his children and those close to him and his wife.”