08/26/2014 07:26 EDT | Updated 10/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Marcel Masse, former Conservative cabinet minister, dead at 78

Marcel Masse, a former Conservative cabinet minister and MP from Quebec, has died.

Masse died on Monday afternoon, surrounded by his family. 

He was 78 years old.

Masse left his mark on Quebec and Canadian politics, playing an active role from the 1960s to the '90s.

He launched his career in provincial politics in 1966, when he was elected as a member of the Quebec National Assembly (MNA) for the riding of Montcalm under the Union Nationale. 

Masse served as an MNA for several years, taking on various ministerial roles.

In the 1970s and '80s, he entered the private sector, sitting as the vice-president of Éconsult, and then vice-president of marketing and development for Lavalin Inc. 

In the 1984 federal election, Masse was elected under the Progressive Conservative Party banner for Frontenac. 

In 1995, he was named an officer of the Order of Quebec.