André Boisclair, Quebec’s official representative in New York and former leader of the Parti Québécois, filed papers at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday to seek damages for what he calls abusive and defamatory statements.
Boisclair is suing former police chief and MNA Jacques Duchesneau, MNA François Legault, and their party — the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) — for a total of $200,000.
The lawsuit states that Boisclair is seeking $100,000 in moral damages, and another $100,000 for defamation.
He is also demanding that Duchesneau issue a retraction in all media outlets.
Boisclair’s legal action comes after Duchesneau questioned a $2.6-million subsidy that Boisclair granted for a construction project to repair a church in 2003.
Duchesneau held a news conference in Quebec City in late September, just after Paul Sauvé - a businessman and friend of Boisclair’s - testified at the Charbonneau Commission.
Duschesneau questioned the subsidy, which Sauvé was awarded when Boisclair was municipal affairs minister. Duchesneau also questioned whether there were any links between Boisclair, his admitted past cocaine use and Sauvé’s alleged connections to the Hells Angels.
Boisclair demanded an apology and a retraction - which Duscheneau refused to do, saying he had a right to ask questions.
Boisclair asked to be relieved from his diplomatic post in New York so that he could fight the allegations.
In his lawsuit, Boisclair calls the comments “abusive” and ‘defamatory”, and adds that it was malicious for Duchesneau to speak about his cocaine use publicly.
The allegations in the lawsuit have yet to be proven in court.