André Cornellier, the controversial president of the OC Transpo drivers' union, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Cornellier, 61, was at the helm of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279 when the city's bus service was shut down after drivers went on strike Dec. 10, 2008. The strike crippled the city in the midst of the year's coldest months until a deal was struck on January 29th, 2009.

In a statement sent to CTV Ottawa Saturday, Mayor Jim Watson expressed his condolences to Cornellier's family.

"He was dedicated to his union and its members and fought passionately for their cause," Watson wrote. " On behalf of my council colleagues, we express our condolences at this difficult time."

Funeral arrangements will be organized by the St. Laurent Chapter of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry.

The union is expected to elect a new president next month.