Jim Coutts, former adviser to prime ministers Pearson and Trudeau, dead at 75

OTTAWA – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says a former adviser to prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau has died at age 75.

Jim Coutts was a lawyer, businessman and key figure in Canada’s Liberal party.

Coutts was secretary to Pearson between 1963 and 1966.

He went on to serve as principal secretary to Trudeau between 1975 and 1981.

The High River, Alta.-native — who was involved with several foundations and public policy organizations — was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2001.

Coutts died of cancer on Tuesday according to tweets from Trudeau and two of his advisors.

“Starting 2014 on a sad note, my wise and good friend Jim Coutts lost his battle with cancer last night,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet on his official Twitter account on Wednesday.