By Robert Frank
“It won’t change a thing,” Nouveau parti des lavallois’ (NPL) mayor candidate told The Suburban in an interview, after ten of his party’s city council candidates quit, Sept. 30, to run as independents.
“I remain in good shape as a candidate,” insisted Guy Landry. “I’m still in the race.”
The ten defectors left in the wake of revelations that the provincial government was trying to reclaim $40,000 in welfare that it paid to Landry.
A television cameraman recorded Landry leaving NPL election headquarters in an expensive Porsche Boxster convertible sports car, minutes after he had told a reporter that he had been entitled to the social assistance money due to an illness.
Standing firm, Landry reiterated that he went into politics to provide the Laval with better civic administration.
“The people who left NPL have decided to run as independents,” he observed. “I can still work with them. I recruited them because they are competent to run the city. In theory, it doesn’t make a difference if they’re elected as independents. They will simply complement the NPL candidates who are elected.”
“I plan to continue exactly as before,” he added. “It doesn’t change the party’s policy at all. I can still work with all of them.”
Landry said that he still plans to participate in the Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Oct. 23 mayoral debate.
LCCI raised eyebrows last month when it announced that only candidates like Landry, who are affiliated with a political party, could participate.
The move excluded independent candidate Jacques Foucher, who has run cities all his life as a senior municipal civil servant. It also bars access to information expert Marc-Aurèle Racicot and Hélène Goupil Nantel, both latecomers to the race for the mayor’s office.
Elections Quebec told The Suburban that it does not violate election finance law for third parties like LCCI to discriminate against independent candidates.
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