Northwestern Ontario and Red Lake residents are mourning the loss of Phil Vinet, the town’s mayor. The 69-year-old passed away from cancer yesterday morning.

"It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Mayor Phil Vinet. He was a fierce advocate for Northwestern Ontario who spent many years promoting and developing the region. As Northerners, especially those residing in Red Lake, we owe him a tremendous debt,” said Kenora MP Bob Nault.

"I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and constituents at this time. As we come together to celebrate Phil's life, I know we will see how he has permanently left his mark on the North."

Vinet was in his third term as mayor of Red Lake, after serving as a town councillor. He was previously an executive member of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association.