Ex-senator Jean-Robert Gauthier dies at 80

Well known Ottawa politician and a champion of francophone rights Jean-Robert Gauthier has died at the age of 80 after a long illness.

Ottawa politician began 40 years of public service on school board

Ottawa politician and champion of francophone rights Jean-Robert Gauthier has died at age 80 after a long illness.

Gauthier spent 40 years in politics, starting as a school board trustee. In 1969 he was instrumental in creating a French-language public school board in Ontario, for which he was installed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2007.

Gauthier was elected as a Liberal MP in the riding of Ottawa East in 1972. He won six more elections in what became the Ottawa-Vanier riding, all by large margins.

He was the Liberal Party's House leader in 1990-91, and party whip from 1984 to 1990.

In 1994, he was appointed to the Senate. He retired on his birthday in 2004.

Having been ill for some time, Gauthier was admitted to hospital early this week suffering from a stroke.

With files from The Canadian Press