Former Canadian Cabinet minister killed in plane crash

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:15pm EDT
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Former Canadian Cabinet minister Jean Lapierre died on Tuesday in a plane crash that also killed his wife and three of his siblings on the way to his father's funeral in eastern Quebec.

The provincial coroner said in a statement all seven people on board the aircraft were killed in the crash, including Lapierre's wife, two of his brothers and a sister. The other two people killed were crew members, the statement said.

The TVA network, for which Lapierre worked as a political commentator, said his twin-engined chartered aircraft crashed in bad weather as it was coming in to land on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Lapierre, 59, had been traveling to the Iles de la Madeleine for the funeral of his 83-year-old father, it said.

Photos from the scene showed the Mitsubishi plane lying in several pieces in a snow-covered field.

Canada's Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the crash but that, due to the bad weather, its team of experts would not reach the site until Wednesday.

The ebullient Lapierre, known for his good humor and animated style on air, made a second career in the media after serving as transport minister in Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal government from July 2004 to February 2006.

He also acted as Martin's lieutenant in the mostly French-speaking province.   Continued...

Former Canadian Transport Minister Jean Lapierre stands to speak in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in this file photo taken November 16, 2005.   REUTERS/Chris Wattie/Files