Former Canadian transport minister Jean Lapierre was one of seven people killed in a plane crash off the coast of Quebec. Lapierre, who was also a respected political commentator, was traveling to his father's funeral.
Former Canadian Cabinet minister Jean Lapierre was killed Tuesday when a small plane he was traveling in crashed off the eastern coast of the Canadian province of Quebec, officials said.
All seven people aboard the plane were killed in the crash, including Lapierre's wife and three of his siblings. The family was on its way to the funeral of Lapierre's father in eastern Quebec when the plane went down in bad weather, as it was coming in to land on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
"The crash took place in a field on approach to the airport," said Quebec provincial police Sgt. Daniel Thibodeau, who added that the weather conditions were "not ideal" for flying.
The plane was a Mitsubishi twin engine turboprop and is believed to have belonged to a private company. It took off from the St-Hubert regional airport south of Montreal on Tuesday morning.
Photos from the crash site showed the plane lying in pieces on a snow-covered field.
The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, but due to bad weather experts are not expected to arrive at the scene until Wednesday local time.
Lapierre, 59, served as transport minister in Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal government from July 2004 to February 2006. He then made a second career in the media as a political commentator and analyst.
"We're going to miss him terribly," Martin told CTV television.
"He was a very good political analyst - he was one of the best - but he was also a superb political figure in this country, and it was a great privilege to work with him," he said.
bw/jr (Reuters, AP, AFP)