Stan Hagen, the Minister of Agriculture and Lands and a Liberal Party stalwart, passed away suddenly on Tuesday evening. Reports say he had a heart attack while dining at a Victoria restaurant.
Hagen had been battling cancer since 2004, but a spokesperson from the premier's office says he did not die in a car accident or from any reoccurrence of prostate cancer.
Hagen was first elected in the Comox Valley riding in1986 for one term. He served the past two terms, since 2001, with Premier Gordon Campbell. He has been a cabinet minister, including the minister of tourism, sport and the arts during much of the early Olympic planning. He has also served as minister of children and family development, minister of human resources and minister of state for sustainable resource management.
"Stan served as minister of 10 different ministries in governments from 1986 to 2009. No one in Canadian public life can match that," said Premier Campbell in an official statement on Wednesday. "Whether as minister of advanced education or agriculture and lands, Stan's record is one of exemplary service. He worked with people in a way that encouraged them to do their best as he worked on their behalf.
"All British Columbians have suffered a loss today. Our gratitude goes to Stan's family for sharing him with all of us. He embodied the spirit of 'the Honourable Member of the Legislature.' He will be sorely missed."
Hagen was 68 years old.