Federal Transport Minister Jean Lapierre fields questions after a speech in Halifax on Friday, August 5, 2005. Ottawa is developing its own version of a no-fly list in an effort to make air travel within the country safer. (CP PHOTO/Andrew Vaughan)

Jean Lapierre, the youngest Federal cabinet minister in Canadian History, was killed along with four members of his family when his privately chartered plane crashed in inclement weather in the remote Magdalen Islands.

Mr. Lapierre, 59, was appointed to the Canadian Cabinet as Minister of Transport on July 20, 2004, and served until the 2006 elections. Lapierre was also the co-chairman of Mr. Martin’s first leadership bid, a co-founder of the Bloc Québécois.

Mr. Lapierre’s death has led to an outpouring of grief cutting across the political spectrum of the nation. Lapierre was an amalgam of intense insights and an extraordinary work ethic, making his commentary essential listening.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin remembered Jean Lapierre and said that he was a person to be sought for advice and was also great company, and his absence will be keenly felt.

Lapierre along with five passengers boarded a Mitsubishi plane that left Montreal’s suburban St. Hubert Airport on Tuesday morning for a direct flight to the Magdalen Islands.

A day earlier Lapierre had informed on his Twitter and Facebook pages that his father has passed away after fighting a long battle against Parkinson disease. His mother still lives in Magdalen Island and was awaiting the arrival of the ill-fated plane. Lapierre was born on this island.


The plane was a two-engine aircraft which was built in 1982 and was registered with Marquise Aviation Corp., a Delaware company. The plane was just 4 kilometers from the Magdalen Islands when it crashed into a rolling field near a residential area.

Mr. Valiquette, a radio journalist, said in an interview that the plane flew close to a residential apartment before crashing at 11:43 a.m. on a small rise in a rolling field. The aircraft made a violent impact, and there was a loud boom.

The Quebec coroner’s office released the victims’ names:

Jean Lapierre.
Nicole Beaulieu, Lapierre’s wife.
Louis Lapierre.
Martine Lapierre.
Marc Lapierre.
Pascal Gosselin and Fabrice Labourel, crew members.