Former Ottawa area Conservative MP Royal Galipeau dies of cancer at age 71

Royal Galipeau
Royal Galipeau, seen here at an Annual Veterans Appreciation Day event in Ottawa. Photo by VAC via Flickr.

Former Conservative MP Royal Galipeau, who represented the Ottawa-area riding of Orleans for nearly a decade, has died at the age of 71.

His wife, Anne Pallascio, confirmed her husband's death on Saturday in a brief phone conversation with The Canadian Press.

Galipeau's former executive assistant, Bryan Michaud, says his one-time boss and mentor was a dedicated public servant and a humble man.

Galipeau was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006, and held the riding until he was defeated by star Liberal candidate Andrew Leslie in 2015.

He announced in February 2014 that he was battling a form of cancer called multiple myeloma.

Michaud says Galipeau's condition improved somewhat after his election defeat, but it worsened significantly over the past month.

Despite his failing health, Michaud says Galipeau never surrendered his sunny disposition.

“Quite frankly, with all that he always remained positive, happy, really positive, honestly it was a lesson for me."

Michaud added that funeral arrangements had yet to be confirmed, however, he expected it would be a private affair with family members and a few close friends.

Along with his wife, Michaud says Galipeau leaves behind three sons and a daughter.