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OTTAWA, July 7- Conservative leader in the Senate, John Lynch-Staunton talking to reporters outside the Senate, Thursday, wouldn't say how far the Tory senators are willing to face-off with the Liberal government over the Pearson Airport deal.

Fred Chartrand/CP

The Prime Minister's Office has confirmed that John Lynch-Staunton, a former Conservative member of the Senate, died Saturday at the age of 82 in Pincher Creek, Alta.

The veteran Montreal municipal politician was appointed to the Senate in 1990 by then prime minister Brian Mulroney.

He became leader of the opposition in the Senate after the Liberals toppled the Conservatives from power in 1993.

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He also briefly served as interim leader of the current Conservative Party.

Mr. Lynch-Staunton took on the job after the party was formed through merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives in December, 2003, and he held the job until Stephen Harper became leader in March, 2004.

In a statement Prime Minister Harper said Mr. Lynch-Staunton was a "principled and passionate advocate for Canada" who played a crucial role in uniting Canadian Conservatives.

Mr. Lynch-Staunton retired from the Senate in 2005.

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