A well-known Canadian political analyst and former federal cabinet minister was among seven people killed in a plane crash in the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St Lawrence, Quebec provincial police confirmed Tuesday.
Jean Lapierre, a broadcaster and former transport minister in the government of Prime Minister Paul Martin, was heading for his father's funeral to the remote island, about 1,300 kilometres northeast of Montreal, his friends said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he was "shaken" by Lapierre's death.
Speaking to reporters, Martin fought back tears, saying he saw Lapierre only two weeks ago.
"He was a good, good friend. Someone with immense integrity and vision," Martin said. "He loved Canadians. He loved Quebecers. ... As a minister, as a journalist, I think that every one of us learned from him. And now he's gone."
The plane crashed as it approached an airfield near Havre-aux-Maisons around 11:40 am (1540 GMT), authorities said.
Quebec provincial police said seven people were aboard the privately owned aircraft.
According to Transport Canada, the Mitsubishi Model MU-2B-60 turboprop plane, built in 1982, left the Saint Hubert airport south of Montreal on Tuesday morning.
Provincial police said the weather was windy and snowing heavily at the time of the crash. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.