MONTREAL – Hundreds of mourners gathered at Saint-Viateur d’Outremont Church Saturday to say goodbye to Jean Lapierre and his wife, Nicole Beaulieu.
The ex-political commentator, three of his siblings and Beaulieu were among the seven people who died in a plane crash in eastern Quebec on March 29.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, along with former prime ministers and other dignitaries were all in attendance to pay their respects.
“Of course, we’re remembering Jean, who was an extraordinary, thoughtful, passionate man who was deeply committed to his country and always looked for the very best in it,” Prime Minister Trudeau said.
“We’re not going to see someone like Jean Lapierre for a very long time,” said former prime minister, Jean Charest. “I don’t think we’ll ever see someone who has carved out the place he had carved out for himself.”
Those in attendance highlighted the face that not only did Quebecers listen to Lapierre, politicians did as well.
“We always listened very carefully to what he was saying in the morning – not only because he was setting the tone, of course he was also criticizing governments, sometimes quite severely but also giving some advice,” said Quebec Premier, Philippe Couillard.
Hundreds of people attended a funeral last week for Lapierre, 59, his father Raymond, his two brothers, one of his sisters and Beaulieu in Lapierre’s hometown of Bassin in Iles-de-la-Madeleine.
Lapierre’s father died of Parkinson’s disease just a few days before the crash, which also killed pilots Pascal Gosselin and Fabrice Labourel. The victims were on their way to the father’s funeral when the plane crashed.
During Saturday’s Outremont ceremony, his daughter, Marie-Anne, read an excerpt of a poem Lapierre was supposed to read at his father’s funeral. It was found in his luggage.
“It was a message to console us,” she said. “He left it to us without even knowing it.”
“He was genuine man, he was a great communicator and above all, a very good human being,” said PQ MNA, Bernard Drainville. “I think we need to be here to say thank you to him and to stand with his family.”
WATCH BELOW: Respected political commentator and former MP Jean Lapierre continues to unite people even after his death, according to one of his many friends. Mike Armstrong reports.
*With a file from the Canadian Press