Laval to fund youth program with money recovered from Gilles Vaillancourt

Details of the program have not yet been finalized, but current mayor Marc Demers said the program will definitely not bear Vaillancourt's name.

Some councillors say the money would be better spent on tax breaks for residents

Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt was ordered to pay $9 million to the city. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The city of Laval has announced a plan to use money recovered from former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt to fund a program for underprivileged youth.

In December, Vaillancourt was sentenced to six years in prison for fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy to commit fraud.

As part of his sentence, Vaillancourt agreed to give the city of Laval $9 million.

Laval Mayor Marc Demers says the city will have to learn from its mistakes. (Radio-Canada/Francis Labbé)
Laval Mayor Marc Demers says he wants the community to remember what could have been done with the money that was diverted to collusion and corruption.

"We need to learn from our mistakes, from our history and, unfortunately, this is a part of our history," said Demers.

Not everyone is in favour of the plan, with some Laval councillors saying it will associate Vaillancourt's name with a positive initiative. 

Michel Trottier, councillor for Fabreville and mayoral candidate, spoke out against the plan, saying: "It's $500,000 that will be given back every year to citizens, but it must not be something that ends up being in memory of Gilles Vaillancourt."

Trottier says he'd rather see the money used to cut taxes.

"In the last budget, tax increases represented $10 million. We have $9 million [from Vaillancourt.] We should be giving back the $100 that we're taking from the people."

Meanwhile, Mayor Demers says details of the program have not yet been finalized, including the way the money will be distributed.

He said the program will be unveiled this in May or June and that Vaillancourt's name would definitely not be associated with the program.

With files from Radio-Canada's Francis Labbé