06/15/2015 17:13 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 01:12 EDT

Former Montreal mayor Jean Dore dead at 70 after battle with pancreatic cancer

MONTREAL - Former Montreal mayor Jean Dore, who headed the city when it had its "blackest day," died Monday at the age of 70 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.Dore, a two-term mayor and longtime municipal figure, was diagnosed with the inoperable cancer in 2014.Dore was mayor in 1989 during the Montreal massacre at Ecole polytechnique.Published reports said he called it the "blackest day" in Montreal's history. Fourteen women were killed.One of his council colleagues lost a daughter in Canada's worst mass shooting.A founding member of the Montreal Citizens' Movement municipal party in 1974, Dore became Montreal's 39th mayor in 1986 when his party swept to power following the retirement of Jean Drapeau, who'd spent the previous 26-years as mayor.His administrations are remembered for decentralizing power to districts, making city hall more accessible to citizens and opening up top positions for women.Dore's party won 55 of 58 seats in 1986 and had an immediate impact on Montreal municipal politics.The executive committee under Dore was made up of a equal number of men and women and he made it easier for citizens to raise questions during council meetings.Under Dore's second term, a woman was named president of the city's executive committee for the first time.In 1992, he also presided as Montreal celebrated its 350th anniversary.Dore lost the 1994 election to Pierre Bourque and a comeback in 1998 under a new party resulted in a defeat and a definitive departure from politics.He studied law at the Universite de Montreal and later became press attache for Rene Levesque during the 1970 provincial election. He also worked with a number of community and grassroots organizations.He spent his final years working in finance.Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Dore will lie in state at city hall over the weekend and a civic funeral will be held early next week."His passion for Montreal was undeniable," Coderre said.The Cancer Research Society said in a release that Dore was surrounded by loved ones.