POLITICS

Saulie Zajdel's Bio: Who Is The Former Tory Candidate?

06/17/2013 12:56 EDT

Saulie Zajdel, a former candidate for the federal Conservatives, was arrested Monday along with Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum.

But just exactly who is Zajdel, who Liberal MP Irwin Cotler accused of being a "shadow MP" in his Montreal riding of Mount Royal.

Zajdel's bio reveals that after running unsuccessfully for the Tories in Cotler's riding during the last federal election, he worked on ethnic outreach for the party. Previously, he served in Heritage Minister James Moore's office as a go-between with Montreal's cultural communities.

Zajdel served as a Montreal city councillor from 1986 to 2009.

He served as director at the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation in Montreal from 2007 to 2011, according to his LinkedIn page. That page lists his current occupation as "Municipal Affairs Consultant and Real Estate Broker" providing "strategic and timely advice on all municipal matters related to zoning, urban planning and permits."

Read more about Zajdel from The Canadian Press below.

MONTREAL - A little over a year ago, Saulie Zajdel joined Stephen Harper for a happy-hour pub stop in Montreal as the Conservatives' best hope to win their first seat in the city in a quarter-century.

Today, Zajdel is under arrest.

The Conservative election candidate was picked up along with Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum and slapped with five charges from acts allegedly committed back in his days as a municipal councillor — including breach of trust, fraud and corruption.

Zajdel narrowly lost to Liberal incumbent Irwin Cotler in the 2011 election and, after the election, was put on the payroll in a minister's office to work on ethnic outreach.

He resigned from that federal job last spring. Cotler had raised concerns that Zajdel was earning a government paycheque while trying to perform MP-like duties in his Montreal riding.

Cotler had described Zajdel as a "shadow MP" in his riding of Mount Royal.

A couple of weeks before he quit, Zajdel had been part of Harper's entourage during the prime minister's visit to Montreal — which included an appearance at a pub.

In 2011, Zajdel had finished some 2,300 votes behind Cotler in the May 2011 election in Mount Royal — a riding coveted by the Tories as a possible beachhead in Canada's second-largest city.

The riding, once represented by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, has been Liberal since 1940.

The Harper government is now distancing itself from Zajdel.

"Our Government firmly believes that anyone proven to be involved in corruption in Quebec will have to face the consequences," said an emailed statement.

The government said Zajdel worked in the office of Heritage Minister James Moore from October 2011 to March 2012 as a liaison with Montreal's cultural communities.

It said none of the allegations against Zajdel were known at the time, and a normal screening process was done.

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