Jim Hillyer, the Conservative MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner in Alberta, has died.
Hillyer was found dead in his Ottawa office March 23 after complaining of feeling unwell the previous day. He was 41.
First elected as the MP for Leth-bridge in 2011, he was easily re-elected in last fall’s election in Medicine Hat after the riding boundaries were redrawn. However, he had been criticized for refusing to appear in debates and at public events.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose issued a statement on behalf of the caucus.
“Jim was a valued and hard-working member of the Conservative team and a passionate advocate for those he represented,” the statement said.
“More than that, he was a dedicated husband and father, and a man of strong faith and conviction.”
Hillyer had survived leukemia in 2003 and had undergone surgery Feb. 13 for a bone infection in his leg. He had broken the leg three years ago while skiing and had suffered persistent infections since then.
He told the Medicine Hat News last week that he was receiving antibiotics through a portable pump so that he could attend the March 22 budget.
He is survived by his wife, Livi, and their four children: London, Taylor, Nation and Asia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement:
“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.”