Foucher excluded from mayoralty debate

Laval Chamber of Commerce only invites political parties

By Robert Frank

Independent candidate Jacques Foucher can’t fathom why he was barred from the upcoming debate between his four rivals for the mayor’s office, Oct. 23.

The Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has limited participation to the mayoral candidates who belong to political parties: Robert Bordeleau (Parti au Service du citoyen), Marc Demers (Mouvement lavallois), Jean-Claude Gobé (Action Laval) and Claire Le Bel (Option Laval).

“The way the population sees politics has changed, of late, in Quebec and in Laval,” Foucher told The Suburban in an interview. “People need to know that there’s an alternative to political parties, so it’s very important that LCCI keep pace by putting this option forward.”

“The interim mayor, Martine Beaugrand, is also an independent,” he noted. “Had she decided to run for mayor, would they have shunned her as well?”

“It’s odd that the LCCI would do that,” Foucher continued. “I simply don’t understand.”

Foucher was one of the first candidates to register officially with Elections Quebec.

In a Feb. 13 interview, he told The Suburban that unlike a party-based organization, he planned to run an austere campaign on a tiny budget.

“I intend to run as an independent, like Andrée Boucher did successfully when she ran for mayor of Quebec City in 2005,” the 63-year-old Fabreville resident said at the time. “She budgeted only $5,000 for her whole campaign, with no posters or campaign machine.”

“It sends a message that—if we can organize an efficient election strategy—once in office we probably will act likewise.”

LCCI CEO Chantal Provost was unavailable for comment. The Chamber is organizing the upcoming debate together with the Laval Youth Forum.

The venue is the Château Royal hotel on du Souvenir. The luncheon is slated to start at 11:45 a.m. and wrap up by 2 p.m. Details are available at the LCCI website at

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