Ontario Conservative MP Gordon Brown was found dead in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday morning.
The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but he would have died suddenly. Mr. Brown was 57 years old. According to party sources, Brown played hockey Wednesday morning before heading to his parliamentary office.
The weekly Conservative caucus meeting on Wednesday morning was interrupted around 11:00 am Parties in the House of Commons immediately agreed to cancel Wednesday afternoon’s question period.
In a message posted on Twitter, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer lamented this “sudden and tragic loss for those who knew him”.
“Gord was an optimistic man. Our thoughts and prayers are for his spouse and children as they experience this terrible loss. ”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Gordon Brown as a “remarkable man, good and good, engaged positively with our work but also with colleagues.”
Elected as MP for the riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes for the first time in June 2004, “Gord” Brown kept this seat uninterrupted for the next four elections. It was previously defeated in 2000 under the banner of the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, in this riding along the St. Lawrence River between Kingston and Cornwall.
Brown was the Conservative whip after the party’s defeat in October 2015, and last July after the election of the new leader, Andrew Scheer.
Former Canadian kayak champion
“He was our whip, so, inevitably, we had very close relations with him,” said Conservative MP Gerard Deltell, Wednesday noon. “When it was wrong, or when it was okay, or when we asked for something or asked for something: it was the prefect of discipline. So, for sure, we were very close to him, and he was very close to us too. ”
His colleague Sylvie Boucher, who has known Mr. Brown since 2006, said he was “devastated” by the death of the man who had become a friend. “Yesterday, we had dinner together. [The news of his death] was a shock. We realize how fragile life is, “she said on Wednesday. “It’s a big loss for the conservative family.”
A graduate of Carleton University in political science in 1983, he spent a portion of his life working in the family business in the restaurant and hotel sector in Gananoque.
Recognized as a great sportsman, Mr. Brown was a former Canadian kayak champion; he had participated in the world championships in 1988. His biography indicates that he still practiced kayaking in the summer and played hockey in the winter.
He is survived by his wife, Claudine Courtois, and their two sons.
As soon as the news came on Wednesday morning, Gerry Butts, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau, went to the Conservative caucus to convey Liberal condolences.
Brown is the second Conservative MP to die suddenly in his office on Parliament Hill for two years. Alberta MP Jim Hillyer died suddenly in March 2016, at the age of 41.