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(Updated 10:30 p.m., Jan. 27)
Former Ottawa-Orléans MP succumbs to cancer

By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star

Royal Galipeau celebrates with hsi wife Anne after being elected for a third term in 2015. The former XConservative MP passed away from multiple myeloma on Friday, Oct. 19 . File photo

Former Ottawa-Orléans member of parliament Royal Galipeau passed away on Saturday after a lengthy battle with myeloma. He was 71.

More commonly known as cancer of the blood, myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for producing antibodies.

News of Galipeau’s passing was made public by his longtime legislative assistant and personal friend Bryan Michaud who posted it on his Facebook page.

“It is with great sadness that I confirm that my friend and mentor, former Ottawa- Orléans MP Royal Galipeau, died peacefully this afternoon of complications from multiple myeloma,” Michaud wrote in his post.

“For all the stories, your human side, your generosity and your tenacity, thanks Royal Galipeau!,” Michaud added.

Galipeau entered politics in 1982 when he successfully ran for a seat on Gloucester city council. He was 36 at the time. During his freshman term he helped introduce equal opportunity hiring policies and unsuccessfully pushed to replace the term “alderman” with a gender-neutral term.

His ambition got the best of him in 1985 when he decided to take a shot at the mayor’s job and ended placing third behind Mitch Owens and the eventual winner Harry Allen.

For the next 15 years he worked behind the scenes for several Liberal MPs including former Ottawa-Orléans member Eugène Bellemare and Mauril Bélanger.

In 2001 he was appointed to the Ottawa Library Board where he helped introduce content-filtered Internet access at the city’s library branches to prevent users from accessing pornography on library computers.

In 2005, he shocked his former Liberal colleagues and many political observers when he decided to seek the federal Conservative nomination in Ottawa-Orléans after it appeared the nomination would be handed to a parachute candidate from New Brunswick. It was one year after Walter Robinson had lost to Marc Godbout in a hard fought contest to replace Bellemare.

Most observers didn’t give Galipeau a chance and even Galipeau thought he had come up short of victory until the advance ballots were added to the rest of the votes late in the evening, putting him over the top.

He would end up getting re-elected in 2008 and 2011 and would serve 3556 days until he was defeated by Andrew Lesliie in the 2015 General Election as part ot the Liberal sweep that brought Justin Trudeau to power.

Galipeau was first diagnosed with cancer in multiple myeloma in 2014 and would often make attend votes in the House of Commons between cancer treatments.

He leaves behind his wife Anne, his daughter Mimi, his three sons Paul, Claude and Louis, and two grandchildren.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   
   

 




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