Eligibility case against Demers lapses

No appeal to Supreme Court

By Robert Frank

The long court challenge that has dogged Laval Mayor Marc Demers is now over.

Jacques Foucher has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, after the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld a lower-court judgment that Demers is indeed eligible to hold office in Laval.

Foucher ran unsuccessfully as Demers opponent in the 2013 municipal election.

“The file is over, the page has been turned,” Foucher told The Suburban. He declined to discuss the case any further.

“For me it is not a political matter,” he told the newspaper in a previous interview, May 29. “We appealed to ask the tribunal to examine the rules [that govern Quebec municipal elections].”

The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled, May 29, that Marc Demers was eligible to run for office when he was elected mayor in November 2013.

The appeal justices upheld a December 2014 Quebec Superior Court judgment.

Demers, who lived and worked in Laval throughout his life, successfully contended that his move to the Laurentians following his retirement was temporary, pending the acquisition of a new home in Laval.

“In the end, it was the people of Laval voted Marc Demers to power,” Laval executive committee vice-chairman David de Cotis told The Suburban. “From our perspective, the case was closed when they voted for him.”

“They have supported him throughout mandate citizens gave us,” he said in an interview, “so it’s unfortunate that this [legal battle] has had to go on so long and that taxpayer money had to go to defend a case that had already been won by citizens.”

De Cotis estimated that the legal bills to defend the case in court have cost city taxpayers $50,000-$70,000.

“Mayor Demers received a 100% confidence vote at the Mouvement lavallois party general assemblies in 2014 and 2015,” he concluded. “That’s positive in the sense that it indicates that he’s doing a good job. It’s only negative in the sense that it can only go down from there.”

Laval Mayor Marc Demers

Laval Mayor Marc Demers

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