Montreal

Former PQ leader André Boisclair accused of sexual assault with a weapon

An arrest warrant has been issued for André Boisclair, a former Parti Québécois leader, in relation to an alleged sexual assault that took place in January 2014.

Warrant has been issued for Boisclair, 54, in relation to allegations dating back to 2014

André Boisclair was elected to the National Assembly in 1989, at the age of 23. He led the Parti Québécois from 2005 to 2007. (Radio-Canada)

An arrest warrant has been issued for former Parti Québécois leader André Boisclair in relation to an alleged sexual assault that happened six years ago.

The warrant has been signed by a Quebec court judge. Boisclair must now report to a police station in the next few days to have a date set for a court appearance.

The 54-year-old man faces two charges for the alleged assault on an unidentified victim, Radio-Canada has confirmed  — one charge for committing a sexual assault while carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon, and one charge for being party to a sexual assault with another person.

Each of those crimes is punishable by up to 14 years' incarceration.

The assaults are alleged to have taken place on or around Jan. 8, 2014. In court documents, the alleged victim is identified only by initials.

Nothing has been proven in court.

Political career started early

Boisclair was first elected to the National Assembly in 1989 in Montreal's Gouin riding at the age of 23 — making him the youngest member of Quebec's legislature in history.

He served as a cabinet minister under premiers Lucien Bouchard and Bernard Landry. He beat Pauline Marois in a contest for the PQ party leadership in 2005 to become the first openly gay leader of a major political party in Canada.

He stepped down in 2007, shortly after the PQ was defeated in the March 2007 provincial election.

Marois appointed Boisclair Quebec's delegate general in New York City in 2012, a post he served in until September 2013.

In February 2018, Boisclair pleaded guilty to a charge of impaired driving for a November 2017 incident and was fined $2,000. He lost his driving permit for one year.

When the sexual assault allegations came to light Thursday, Boisclair resigned from his position as president and director general of the Institut de développement urbain du Québec, a non-profit organization focused on Quebec's commercial real estate industry.

He has not been reached for comment.

With files from La Presse canadienne and Radio-Canada

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