Montreal

Nathalie Normandeau's request for stay of proceedings to be heard in March

The former deputy premier was arrested in 2016 on corruption charges. In a latter to media last week, she said the delays in her case were "cruel and inhuman," affecting her personal and professional situation.

Former deputy premier accused of breach of trust, corruption in municipal affairs and fraud against government

In a letter, ex-deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau said she has nothing to hide and has always wanted to go to trial, but the delays are cruel and inhumane. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

A judge will hear in March a request for a stay of proceedings from former deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau and her co-accused, charged in 2016 following a corruption investigation.

The parties are to appear March 16 in Quebec City to discuss what the defence says are unreasonable delays in the case as part of a challenge invoking the Supreme Court of Canada's Jordan decision, which set strict timelines for cases to get to trial.

In a letter sent to media last week, Normandeau said the delays in her case were "cruel and inhuman," affecting her personal and professional situation.

The 51-year-old former provincial politician was arrested as part of an investigation into allegations that public contracts were awarded in exchange for political donations.

In August, the Crown announced it was dropping more than half of the charges against Normandeau.

Five charges of fraud, corruption and conspiracy were withdrawn, with the Crown intending to proceed to trial on three counts, including breach of trust and fraud against the government.

Quebec court Judge André Perreault agreed Monday to assess the delays in the case and determine which parties are responsible.

Perreault dismissed a similar motion for a stay in March 26, 2018.

Noting that nearly two years have passed since that ruling, Perreault said it was "appropriate" for the court to look at the matter anew.