Southern Alberta MP Jim Hillyer found dead in his office
Jim Hillyer, the MP for the federal riding of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner, has died at his office on Parliament Hill, CTV News has learned.
There are no details on what led to Hillyer’s death, but sources say it was sudden and linked to recent health issues.
Rona Ambrose, the interim leader of the PC Party, released a statement on Wednesday after hearing news of his death.
She says she was deeply saddened to learn of his passing.
“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.
“On behalf of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada, I offer my deepest condolences to Jim’s wife Livi and their children as they deal with this painful loss.”
Hillyer's Chief of Staff, Colleen Valin, also released the following statement:
“On behalf of Jim’s staff in Ottawa and in the riding, I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Jim’s wife Oliviai and their children during this difficult time.”
As soon as news of his passing broke, many of those who knew and worked alongside him posted their messages of support online.
Jim's passing is keenly felt in our caucus today. Our prayers are with Livi and his children on this heartbreaking day and in those to come.— Michelle Rempel, MP (@MichelleRempel) March 23, 2016
Laureen and I were shocked and saddened to learn of Jim Hillyer's passing 1/2 pic.twitter.com/E1tcnuztFn— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) March 23, 2016
Jim was a committed Member of Parliament but more importantly, a loving husband and father. His family is in our thoughts and prayers. 2/2— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) March 23, 2016
We've lost a member of our Parliamentary family. My deepest condolences to the family of MP Jim Hillyer. Statement: https://t.co/a9p12jdAD0— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 23, 2016
He leaves behind his wife and four children. Hillyer was 41.
He began his political career in Regina, but dropped out of the Saskatchewan provincial election after learning he had leukemia.
He returned to run in the federal election in 2011 for Lethbridge, winning his seat with a large majority.
When it came time for the 2015 election the districts had changed and Hillyer ran again in his new riding of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner. He won in that vote as well.
The House of Commons will adjourn for the day in respect for Hillyer's family.
(With files from CTV News' Richard Madan)