Laraque bows out of by-election race
Former Habs enforcer George Laraque is stepping aside from federal politics — and the Green Party — for now.
Laraque became the party's deputy leader shortly after he left hockey, and this past summer he announced he would be the party's candidate in the north-end riding of Bourassa, which was left vacant when former Liberal MP Denis Coderre left to run for mayor.
For now, Laraque's priority is to clear his name. He's facing fraud charges related to a business deal that went sour, and he believes the citizens of Bourassa deserve an upcoming by-election without criminal changes lingering over the Green Party star-candidate.
Party leader Elizabeth May, who flew from the opposite end of the country to stand next to Laraque at a morning news conference, says Laraque is doing the right thing.
"Obviously it's very difficult, but there's a very strong sense it's the right thing to do."
She adds she supports him personally, and believes he is innocent — leaving the door open for the ex-NHL player to return to the party, if and when the charges are cleared.
Police raided Laraque's home in Brossard this past January, looking for documents in connection with a dispute he had with his former business partner. He confirmed yesterday he was facing fraud charged in connection with the matter.
Photo: Michel Boyer