Officials have initiated a sudden death investigation at the Toronto home of former Ontario health minister David Caplan.
At around 9:35 p.m. on Wednesday, emergency crews were called to Caplan’s home near the Don Valley Parkway and Lawrence Avenue East with reports of a fire.
A spokesperson with Toronto Paramedics told Global News on Thursday that a man was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition.
A Toronto Fire Services spokesperson said the victim sustained burns. The spokesperson said an investigation was launched to determine the cause, origin and circumstances of the fire.
On Thursday, officials said Toronto police were involved in the investigation. A police spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation.
News that Caplan died was made public on Thursday. The circumstances surrounding Caplan’s death weren’t publicly known as of Thursday evening.
At the time of his death, Caplan, 54, was running for the federal nomination in the riding of Don Valley North. He also ran unsuccessfully as councillor for Toronto in Ward 16 – Don Valley East during the last municipal election for a council seat.
Caplan represented the provincial riding of Oriole and Don Valley East from 1997 to 2011.
TORONTO ELECTION 2018: Ward 16 Don Valley East
He was forced out as health minister in 2009 over the eHealth scandal in which millions of dollars went to consultants with government ties, and over expense account abuses. Many felt Caplan had been treated unfairly, particularly since most of the abuses at the agency took place under his predecessor.
He had also served as infrastructure minister.
His mother, Elinor Caplan, was also a veteran politician, both federally and at the provincial level – where she, too, served as health minister.
Premier Doug Ford tweeted about Caplan’s death, saying: “I’m sad to learn that David Caplan passed away. Too young. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. I’m grateful to David for his years of service to our province and his community.”
Lisa MacLeod, Ontario minister of tourism, also offered her condolences.
“My sincere condolences to the family of former MPP and Ontario Cabinet Minister David Caplan. David and I served together for many years — when he left politics we on occasion would grab a coffee. He was a good public servant, a kind soul and he is gone much too soon,” MacLeod wrote in a tweet.
Former Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne also tweeted that “I am shocked and saddened to learn of David Caplan’s death. He was a friend and a colleague. Love and condolences to David’s family.”
Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East, also released a statement:
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of David Caplan,” said Coteau. “I knew him as a hard-working, caring man who had deep ties to our community. He knew people by name, spent a long time at the door trying to solve people’s problems, and was always a hard worker for the community we served.”
— With files from Nick Westoll and The Canadian Press.