Liberal MP Mauril Belanger,61, dies after battle with ALS
Mauril Bélanger, the longtime Liberal MP for Ottawa-Vanier, has died, just 10 months after being diagnosed with the neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Bélanger, 61 and a married father of three, died before he had a chance to see his final bill become law, an act to make O Canada gender neutral by replacing the words “all thy sons command” with “in all of us command.”
He had been a member of Parliament since 1995 and made history earlier this year when he became the first person to speak in the Commons using a computerized voice, having lost his own due to the ravages of ALS.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used Twitter to announce Belanger’s death on Tuesday night.
Mauril Bélanger has passed away. He was a great friend, tireless MP and brave fighter. The entire Parliamentary family mourns his loss.
The Prime Minister praised Belanger’s efforts in a statement Tuesday night.
“Mauril’s immense contributions to our country will be honoured and remembered. We are all the poorer for his passing,” he said. “Goodbye my friend.”
As word of Belanger’s passing spread, tributes began to pour in from fellow MPs.
Mauril Bélanger was was an exceptional MP.His brave battle with ALS taught us about grace and courage. My thoughts are with Catherine. RIP