POLITICS

Manon Perreault, Ex-NDP MP, Fined $1,000 For Public Mischief

07/03/2015 12:57 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 05:59 EDT
CP
OTTAWA - MP Manon Perreault proclaimed her innocence on Friday after being ordered to pay $1,400 and being put on probation for one year for a conviction on mischief.

"I've always led a quiet life and I've never done anything (wrong)," Perreault, who has been an Independent MP since being ejected from the NDP caucus in June 2014, told The Canadian Press.

"Being accused like this and being dragged through the mud from one end of Canada to the other is totally ridiculous."

Perreault, 49, was found guilty last March of mischief for falsely accusing a former employee of theft.

Quebec court Judge Bruno Leclerc fined her $1,000 and tacked on $400 in court costs and a victim fine surcharge.

The Crown had been seeking a fine of $2,500, while the defence wanted an absolute discharge.

Perreault is not ruling out running again in her riding of Montcalm, northeast of Montreal, and said she was approached to join other federal parties after her departure from the NDP.

"You know, I never heard anyone in the Commons talk about this story," she said. "It's taken on inordinate proportions. No MP ever mentioned it to me.

"But all of this really won't be the deciding factor as to whether I run again."

Perreault was elected with more than 50 per cent of the vote in 2011 as part of the NDP wave in the province.

Leclerc, who sits in the region encompassing Perreault's riding, said granting her an absolute discharge would have undermined the public's confidence in the judicial system.

Perreault also undermined the link that should exist between the public and elected officials, he wrote.

Her lawyer, Jean-Pierre Rancourt, said Friday he will appeal the sentence. He had already indicated he would do likewise with the conviction.