A former New Brunswick Liberal member of Parliament has been cleared by a New Brunswick judge to run in next year's federal election if he chooses.
Jean-Claude D'Amours had been banned from ever running for Parliament again after failing to file financial documents on time following his 2011 loss to Conservative Bernard Valcourt.
D'Amours was elected three times as the MP for Madawaska-Restigouche in northwestern New Brunswick.
Following the 2011 election, Michelle Daigle, the official agent for D'Amours, took almost 10 months to file financial returns that are supposed to be completed within four months.
One of the mandatory penalties for Daigle's violation was that D'Amours be prohibited from running for Parliament again.
That penalty was challenged in court in an application brought by Daigle. At a hearing on the issue last month, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Fred Ferguson noted that even convicted criminals can run for office.
In his ruling. Ferguson granted Daigle a retroactive extension to her filing deadline and then declared her overdue documents to be on time. That removed the restriction that prevented D'Amours from ever running again.
"[D'Amours] has done nothing wrong," stated Ferguson.
"Nor has he failed to carry out a legal duty imposed on him.
"It is clear that he had nothing to do with the late filing of the post-election return and related documents."