Not any more

Ignatieff’s communications director killed in motorcycle crash

In Canada on August 12, 2010 at 14:21

Mario Lague leaves a cabinet meeting with then-prime minister Paul Martin on May 6, 2004.

Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:03 AM

Ignatieff’s communications director
killed in motorcycle crash

Jane Taber

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s director of communications, Mario Laguë, was killed Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash while on his way to work.

He was 52 years old and leaves a wife and two teenage children. According to reports, Mr. Laguë’s motorcycle collided with an SUV at an intersection in Ottawa’s west end.

“A man of many talents and accomplishments, Mario was a beloved member of our staff, and a valued personal advisor to me and the entire Liberal team,” Mr. Ignatieff said in a statement. “A man of great integrity and spirit, Mario served his country in many capacities with honour and dignity. … [He] brought a bright light to everything he did.”

Mr. Laguë joined Mr. Ignatieff’s office this year. He was brought in by Peter Donolo, Mr. Ignatieff’s chief of staff, and was part of the team Mr. Donolo built around the leader to try to improve his image. The new team took over in January.

Last week, Mr. Laguë joked with a reporter during lunch that he had just taken up driving a motorcycle as part of his “mid-life crisis.” He had mentioned he had gone on a motorcycle trip this summer to the Eastern Townships.

“While we will miss Mario’s extensive talents, we will miss most of all his warmth, his humour, and his passion for Canada that inspired us all,” Mr. Ignatieff said.

Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae cancelled a press conference he had scheduled in Ottawa Thursday morning because of the tragedy. Later, he posted his thoughts on Facebook.

“We are all mourning the terrible loss of Mario Laguë, OLO communications director, killed in a motorcycle accident this morning. This is such sad and devastating news. A wonderful man.”

Mr. Laguë came over to Mr. Ignatieff’s office with immense experience. He had been working at an NGO in Switzerland but before that had served as Canada’s ambassador to Costa Rica.

As well, he had been director of communications to former prime minister Paul Martin and before that served in one of the most senior communications roles in the Privy Council Office.

Tall, big and sporting a dark beard, Mr. Laguë was distinctive on Parliament Hill. Well-liked by his colleagues and the press, he had a big hand in Mr. Ignatieff’s thinkers’ conference in Montreal this spring and in putting together the Liberal Express summer bus tour.

Mr. Laguë accompanied Mr. Ignatieff on the first week of that tour, when the bus broke down, and handled all of it with aplomb. He also traveled with him on the Quebec leg of the tour.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, loved ones and the many, many friends and colleagues that knew him,” Mr. Ignatieff said.

Latest Comments


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: