Ex-federal cabinet minister Jean Lapierre dies in plane crash

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is sending a team of investigators to the scene in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine

Jean Lapierre. (CP)

Jean Lapierre. (CP)

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 Quebec coroner’s office identified the deceased on Tuesday night as Lapierre, his spouse Nicole Beaulieu, his brothers Marc and Louis, his sister Martine Lapierre, and crew members Pascal Gosselin and Fabrice Labourel.

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.

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.

TVA and Cogeco, two news outlets that employed Lapierre as a political analyst, confirmed that Lapierre is one of the seven people who died in the crash.

The plane was a Mitsubishi turboprop and is believed to have belonged to a private company.

On Twitter, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said that it would not be able to send a team of investigators to the scene until Wednesday due to the weather.

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