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Alberta Conservative MP Jim Hillyer dead at 41

Last Updated Mar 23, 2016 at 11:40 am PST

Jim Hillyer (Source: jimhillyer.com)

OTTAWA – MPs of all political stripes consoled and comforted one another on Parliament Hill after learning of the sudden death of Alberta Conservative MP Jim Hillyer.

News of the tragedy spread as Hillyer’s fellow Tories gathered for their weekly caucus meeting.

Many expressed shock, noting they had seen him out last night after the federal budget.

As they left the Hill, several were met with hugs and handshakes from Liberal MPs.

The House of Commons, where a heated post-budget question period had been anticipated, is instead expected to adjourn early, although there was talk of party leaders paying tribute.

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose said she was deeply saddened.

“Jim was a valued and hardworking member of the Conservative team, and a passionate advocate for those he represented. More than that, he was a dedicated husband and father, and a man of strong faith and conviction. I pray that his and his family’s faith will help them through this very difficult time,” she said in a statement.

In a statement she said “Jim was a valued and hardworking member of the Conservative team, and a passionate advocate for those he represented.”

Former prime minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences on Twitter.

Hillyer was first elected to the House of Commons in 2011 in the Lethbridge riding and was re-elected last fall in the new riding of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.

Initial reports suggest the 41-year-old MP died in his office, just off Parliament Hill. Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy says officers responded to a medical call on Sparks Street.

Hillyer was a cancer survivor and had a bone marrow transplant in 2003.

 

Statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“It was with great sorrow that I learned today of the death of Jim Hillyer, the Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I would like to express our deepest condolences to his wife Livi, their four children, and his friends and colleagues.

“The parliamentary community is a tight-knit one, and I want to say how much of a privilege it has been to serve with Jim. I know he will be greatly missed on the Hill and in his constituency.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones as they grieve this very sudden loss. We will provide any support they need during this incredibly difficult time.”