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Former federal politician Jean Lapierre dies in plane crash in Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Jean Lapierre dies in plane crash
WATCH ABOVE: Former federal politician and one of Quebec’s best-known political commentators, Jean-Charles Lapierre, has died after the plane he was a passenger in crashed in Îles de la Madeleine. Global's Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports.

MONTREAL – Former federal politician and one of Quebec’s best-known political commentators, Jean-Charles Lapierre, has died after the plane he was a passenger in crashed in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, just east of Quebec.

He was 59.

Lapierre, his wife and members of their family were en route to his father’s funeral in his hometown when they all perished in the accident.

Lapierre was first elected to the House of Commons in 1979, representing the riding of Shefford as a Liberal.

In 1984, Lapierre was appointed to cabinet after John Turner took over when former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau retired in 1984.

At the age of 28, he was the youngest minister to serve in a federal cabinet.

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He served as minister of state for youth and amateur sports before Turner called an election nine days after being sworn in.

The Liberals lost power.

In 1990, Lapierre left the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord.

This file photo shows Jean Lapierre on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on August 25, 2004.
This file photo shows Jean Lapierre on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on August 25, 2004. CP PHOTO/Jonathan Hayward

He helped form the Bloc Québécois.

Lapierre abandoned the Bloc in 1992, and has always maintained that he was never a separatist.

He served as Transport Minister from 2004 to 2006, initiating the Pacific Gateway Strategy, signing air transport agreements with China and India and completing a formal Canada-U.S. Open Skies Agreement.

He worked to reduce the amount paid by airports to the federal government.

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Lapierre resigned from federal politics in 2007.

Since then, he has been working as a broadcaster with TVA and Montreal radio station 98.5 FM.

He has also been a commentator for Montreal radio station CJAD and has been a regular contributor to CTV News.

Lapierre is remembered for his flamboyance, aggressiveness and his toughness.