Here is the statement issued today by Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa, following the death of Paul Desmarais.
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Paul Desmarais, a great friend of the University of Ottawa and one of our most illustrious alumni.
A true giant of Canadian business and Canadian society, Mr. Desmarais was deeply committed to giving back to his country and community. He will be missed.
Paul Desmarais maintained a strong personal relationship with his alma mater. He was honourary chair of the University's first capital campaign and supported several professorships at the Telfer School of Management. His contribution to the Desmarais Building is a tribute to his generous and innovative spirit.
Mr. Desmarais always spoke proudly of the family's strong ties to the university where his father, wife, siblings and grandchildren also studied. On behalf of the entire University of Ottawa community, I am joined by our Chancellor, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, in expressing our most heartfelt condolences to the Desmarais family in this sad time.