LAVAL, Que. – Police have been called in to protect a mayoral candidate in scandal-plagued Laval, Que., after unnerving incidents this week.
The candidate first released a phone conversation she recorded with her former boss, ex-mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, who faces criminal gangsterism charges.
In that call, Vaillancourt offered to help finance her campaign, echoing similar offers he is alleged to have made to other politicians over the years. The candidate, Claire Le Bel, refused and this week she publicly released the recording.
Later that same day, her campaign manager was assaulted.
Le Bel says she fears for her safety and no longer drives her car alone. She says her aide is doing well after the Monday night assault.
She says her campaign manager Reny Gagnon has filed a complaint with provincial police.
Le Bel says the conversation with Vaillancourt has been turned over to Quebec’s anti-corruption squad.
Vaillancourt ruled the city just north of Montreal for 23 years before his name started surfacing at Quebec’s corruption inquiry and his home and office were subject to police raids.
The ex-mayor resigned in November 2012. He was arrested with 36 others in May 2013. In addition to the gangsterism charge, Vaillancourt is also charged with conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, and breach of trust.
Quebecers vote in municipal elections on Nov. 3.