Former Canadian cabinet minister Jean Lapierre has died 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 TVA network, for which Lapierre worked as a political commentator, said all seven people on board Lapierre’s twin-engined chartered aircraft were killed on Tuesday when it 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 travelling to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine for the funeral of his 83-year-old father, TVA said. Also killed were Lapierre’s wife as well as two of his brothers and a sister, it added.
Provincial police confirmed all six passengers and the pilot had been killed but did not immediately release their names. Photos from the scene showed the Mitsubishi plane lying in several pieces in a snow-covered field.
The 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 crash took place in a field on approach to the airport,” said Quebec provincial police sergeant Daniel Thibodeau, who described the weather conditions as “not ideal” for flying.
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 humour 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.