Foucher contests Demers’ eligibility

Foucher contests Demers’ eligibility

Dramatic about-face:
Defeated opponent asks court to quash mayor’s election 

By Geneviève April

Jacques Foucher has changed his mind.

After stating in a news release two days after the Nov. 3 election that he would not contest Marc Demers’ election out of respect for Laval citizens, the defeated mayoral candidate instituted proceedings with the Quebec Superior Court last week to invalidate the results of the balloting.

Contacted by The Suburban minutes after his Nov. 29 reversal, Foucher would only read from a prepared statement.

“Since the opposition won’t do it, I have appointed myself spokesperson for all citizens who believe that democracy was trampled last Nov. 3, permitting the former policemen and ineligible candidate Marc Demers to be elected mayor of Laval,” said Foucher.

“He didn’t get a majority,” he added, noting that 56 percent of the population voted against Demers.

Before The Suburban went to press, Foucher told the newspaper that he intends to convene a news conference together with his legal counsel, which will probably be held later today. He said that he would use the occasion to explain what had prompted him to reverse course and file the legal challenge, after all.

Action Laval candidate Emilio Miggliozi was unsurprised that the election was contested.

“When [Demers] decided to run for Mouvement lavallois, I told him that he should, as a citizen, be proactive and ask the Supreme Court whether he was eligible to run in Laval,” recounted Miggliozi, who added that this was the main reason that he left Mouvement lavallois to run instead for the Action Laval party.

“He knowingly decided to run anyway, aware that neither [Laval’s chief returning officer] Guy Collar nor Elections Quebec could do anything about it prior to the election,” Migliozzi continued. “I found it deceitful for the people of Laval, but all ML members voted [for him to be their mayoral candidate] knowing full well all of the facts. Now, Demers and ML will have to face the consequence of their decision.”

“I was a little surprised when I heard who was contesting, considering that Mr. Foucher had said he would respect Laval citizens’ decision,” Mayor Demers said in an interview with The Suburban. “I have a legal opinion that states that I was eligible to run. It has been posted on ML webpage for some time now. The lawyers who wrote it said that my candidacy was legitimate, and that I did not need to ask the Supreme Court [before running].”

Demers added that all ML members knew what they were getting into when they anointed him their mayoral candidate, and that they attended his Nov. 29 press conference to show their solidarity.

Demers expects that it will remain business-as-usual at city during the weeks to come.

“I have arranged for [my lawyer] Casavant Mercier to represent me at the courthouse, Dec. 3, to take care of it.”

Mayor Marc Demers

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