The former director of Le Devoir, Bernard Descôteaux, died on Saturday of cancer. He was 77 years old.

It was the Montreal daily which first made the announcement in the middle of the afternoon, remembering “his unifying qualities” and his journalistic flair.

Mr. Descôteaux headed Le Devoir from 1999 to 2016. His mandate was marked, among other things, by the start of the editorial team’s digital shift. He joined the daily newspaper in 1974 and notably covered municipal, provincial and federal politics as a parliamentary correspondent, before being named editor-in-chief at the turn of the 1990s. Less than ten years later, he became the eighth director of Le Devoir .

“Le Devoir was Bernard’s extended family. We never forgot him even after his retirement, unfortunately too short, in 2016. We remember him as a kind, upright, honest and funny man in his spare time. Farewell, Comrade! », Wrote Mr. Myles, in a reaction cited by the newspaper.

Several testimonies burst onto the web shortly after the announcement, particularly in political circles. “My condolences to all those close to Bernard, a brilliant and kind man,” noted Prime Minister François Legault. “A great, calm, thoughtful and affable gentleman. He leaves a big void. Condolences to his loved ones and his colleagues at Le Devoir and the entire journalistic community,” also wrote supportive MP Vincent Marissal.

“I have always had the greatest admiration for Bernard Descôteaux. Calm, thoughtful and very generous with his time, he always intervened with moderation, objectivity and accuracy, qualities that are increasingly rare these days. I am very saddened to learn that he is no longer with us, he was both a mentor and an inspiration for me,” said the PQ leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

Former colleagues of the deceased also did not fail to greet him. “Farewell dear Bernard, thank you for everything, especially this quiet, prudent strength, which characterized your leadership,” underlined Journal de Montréal columnist Antoine Robitaille, former parliamentary correspondent for Le Devoir.

“He was a quiet force, a super friendly man and always ready to give valuable advice. I started my career at Le Devoir with him and I owe him a lot. Thank you for everything,” recalled the daily environment journalist Alexandre Shields.