Condolences pour in for former Ottawa broadcaster and city councillor Pierre Bourque

OTTAWA — Pierre Bourque, contributor to Newstalk 580 CFRA and a one-time Ottawa city councillor has died.

Former CFRA host Rick Gibbons tweeted the news Sunday morning, saying Bourque had suffered an apparent heart attack Saturday. He was 62.

Bourque was a regular contributor to talk shows on 580 CFRA and had filled in as host from time to time. He also managed the news aggregator website Bourque Newswatch. He was the grandson of former Ottawa mayor Edouard Bourque.

Phil Bourque paid tribute to his brother in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“My brother Pierre was a supremely loving and devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and a true devoted friend to many,” said Phil.

“He pursued many passions and goals with ambitious drive, not the least of which was his love for car racing. Pierre’s keen wit and his awesome sense of humour were second to none. Pete’s sudden and unexpected departure is an immense loss to our family and all his friends.”

Gibbons shared his memories of Bourque in an email to CTVNewsOttawa.ca on Sunday.

“Pierre was a great friend and colleague who loved politics and media. He was always quick to embrace the next big thing, whether it was the early days of the Internet where he thrived with his groundbreaking news site, or more recently, in the sometimes complex world of digital currencies and NFTs.

“He had such a diverse CV – broadcaster (CFRA), NASCAR driver, artist, etc. but he was a political junkie to his core, something that was likely inspired by his grandfather, who served as Ottawa’s first francophone mayor. He made his own brief foray into city politics back in the ‘90s when he was appointed to a 10-month term at city hall to fill a vacancy on city council. He also ran – and lost – in a federal election for the Liberals in Quebec.

“He had a mischievous side too. He loved to gossip and was the source of occasional political rumours around town. He was notorious for an April Fool’s Day story he ran on bis news site announcing Paul Martin’s retirement as finance minister to raise chickens in the eastern townships. Stock market traders said the gag story caused a dip in the dollar that day. Vintage Pierre. RIP, my friend.”

Bourque briefly represented By-Rideau Ward on Ottawa city council in 1991, having been appointed when Marc Laviolette became mayor following the depature of Jim Durrell. Bourque lost his seat in the municipal election later that year. 

Beyond politics and broadcasting, Bourque was also a racecar driver. He competed in NASCAR events between 2007 and 2011.

Several high profile local figures, including Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, several local councillors, Canadian Senator Leo Housakous, and a number of current and former broadcasters and journalists offered their condolences on social media upon learning of Bourque’s passing.

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