Mauril Belanger, Liberal MP for Ottawa-Vanier for the past two decades, died Tuesday night. He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease shortly after the election last fall.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his death on Twitter, saying he was a good friend and a “brave fighter.”
Many of his colleagues in the House of Commons have already spoken out on social media, calling him exceptional, a good friend, and most of all a “great parliamentarian.”
Toronto-area MP Arif Virani said he was saddened by Belganer’s passing, calling him a fierce advocate of francophone rights and gender inclusion. Belanger had been the driving force behind amending the lyrics to O Canada to make it more gender-neutral.
Politicians and people across the country are also joining in honouring the MP online.