Mario Laguë

A terribly sad day in Ottawa. Michael Ignatieff’s Director of Communications died this morning in a motorcycle accident. Here are the statements from the party leaders. I met Laguë once. There was a kindness and quiet about him. My thoughts are with his family.

Michael Ignatieff:

“It is with great sadness that we learned this morning that our Director of Communications, Mario Laguë, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in Ottawa.

“A man of many talents and accomplishments, Mario was a beloved member of our staff, and a valued personal advisor to me and the entire Liberal team. A man of great integrity and spirit, Mario served his country in many capacities with honour and dignity. Whether as a public servant under Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, Ambassador to Costa Rica or in his most cherished role as a husband and father, Mario brought a bright light to everything he did.

“While we will miss Mario’s extensive talents, we will miss most of all his warmth, his humour, and his passion for Canada that inspired us all.

“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, loved ones and the many, many friends and colleagues that knew him.”

Stephen Harper:

“I was very saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing today of Mario Laguė, Director of Communications for the Leader of the Opposition.

“Throughout a varied and distinguished career, Mr. Laguė served his country with dedication both in Canada and abroad. His numerous roles included serving as Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Director of Communications, as Quebec’s Delegate in Venezuela and in Mexico, as Canada’s Ambassador to Costa Rica, and as Assistant Secretary to Cabinet – Communications and Consultations in the Privy Council Office.

“Mr. Laguė will be greatly missed by those who knew him personally and who worked with him throughout his career. His devotion and service to his country are his legacy.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in their time of grief.”

Jack Layton:

I was deeply saddened this morning to learn of the sudden death of Mario Laguë, Director of Communications to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. On behalf of all New Democrats, I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Laguë’s family, friends and colleagues.

Beneath the political fault lines that we find ourselves negotiating each day, there is a foundation of deep respect among those who devote their lives to public service. No matter what political stripes we may wear, we all feel this loss profoundly.

Mr. Laguë was a man of gentle strength who devoted decades to building a better country. We admire the consistent integrity he brought to his work, whether he was advising a Quebec premier or Canadian prime minister, or representing us all overseas as a Canadian ambassador.

We reserve a special place in our hearts today for Mr. Lague’s wife and two children. I know so well that a political career is always a full-family endeavor. They too have given much. And as we mourn with them today, we do so as extended family.



  • Bec

    I am devastated at this horrific loss and share the pain of his family,but you know,THOUSANDS of CANADIANS loose their lives in horrible traffic accidents, many of them to do with motorcycles. Why have THEY not hit the National News for an entire day, let alone, EVER?

    I had a loved one die in a similar accident, although on a secondary road and it never even hit the local paper, let alone several national papers, networks and radio.
    He was also important and so I question the priorities of this being an ALL DAY event under the circumstances that the media rarely does the same thing for us, the public.

    Just sayin’!

  • PhantomObserver

    It was important because Mr. Laguë, as a communications director, was a close professional associate of the press people covering national politics. He interacted with them on a regular basis, so his death naturally creates a vacuum among people best equipped to communicate that loss.

  • Ted

    Come on, Bec. A public figure, especially someone who is well liked by all sides and has served two PMs and is a former Canadian Ambassador and currently right in the heart of national politics, and you think there is something untoward about a little coverage? (Have no idea what you mean by “all day event”.)

    But if it is an issue, take it up with Harper and ask him why he thought it was important enough to provide a very heartfelt emotional statement on Lague and not on your loved one.

    Seriously, this is taking partisanship to an absurdly low level.

  • Ted

    Or our host, Mr. Taylor for that matter, or the many Blogging Tories who commented. Are they as elitist as you imply?


  • east of eden

    And, yet, Ignatieff is doing the shmoozing thing in Winnipeg, despite his great sorrow. Politicians – geesh.

  • Mary T

    I read that iggy is cutting short his tour to get back to help with funeral arrangements. The visitation is Sunday and the funeral on Monday. Wouldn’t all arrangements have already been made by the time he gets back late tonight.
    Just asking, how much training did he have before riding this beast.
    A family member lost her nephew 2 wks ago, a man from Coaldale was killed in Montana last week, and there have been a couple of other fatal accidents. Perhaps motorcycles should be banned.

  • Liz J

    Mary, I think anyone driving motorcycles in busy city traffic or busy highways is tempting fate.
    Perhaps they should be restricted to less busy roads. People driving cars with blind spots in heavy traffic is another hazard for motorcycles.

    Sounds like the bereaved family has made funeral arrangements, perhaps Iggy has to make his own plans to attend.

  • Margaret

    You do what you have to do, in spite of the death. You keep on going. What a cynical thing to say! After going through the deaths of my husband, both my parents, and an aunt; I know very well that you just keep on going. In particular, you carry on the work of the one who has died.

  • Alpha
  • Margaret

    This was a man who was important to the running of the country. He had a huge network of friends and colleagues on the national and international level. He was important, a celebrity in his own circles.
    Complaining about coverage on his funeral – really boggles the mind, and you wonder whether this will ever be a civil country again.