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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Ex-cabinet minister dies in Quebec plane crash

Associated Press

HAVRE-AUX-MAISONS, Quebec – A small plane crashed Tuesday off an island in eastern Quebec, killing seven people, Quebec provincial police said.

Among those killed was former federal cabinet minister and political commentator Jean Lapierre.

Other members of his family were also believed to be among the victims. They were traveling to the Iles-de-la-Madeleine after the recent death of Lapierre’s father.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he was “shaken by the sudden death” of Lapierre and called it a great loss to the political world.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin called Lapierre, who served as Martin’s transport minister, a wonderful man who understood the issues and loved people.

The plane was a Mitsubishi turboprop and is believed to have belonged to a private company. The plane had taken off from the St-Hubert regional airport south of Montreal earlier in the morning.

The plane crashed close to the airport in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine just off eastern Quebec. The cause is not immediately known.

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