POLITICS

Francine Crevier Bélair, Liberal Candidate In Quebec, Calls It Quits

08/17/2015 07:24 EDT | Updated 08/18/2015 03:59 EDT

Quebec Liberal candidate Francine Crevier Bélair resigned Monday, more than two weeks after the writ dropped, after she was barred from running municipally due to an outstanding loan.

In her resignation letter, Crevier Bélair said she did not yet pay back a personal loan from two years ago when she ran unsuccessfully to be mayor of Boucherville, a town on Montreal’s south shore. Because she hadn’t paid back the $3,100 loan, a mandatory report with the city had not been filed.

On July 6, she said, she received a letter from the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec telling her she was ineligible to run municipally.

Even though she isn’t banned from running federally, Crevier Bélair said she held herself to the “high standards” that the Liberal party and leader Justin Trudeau had adopted and would step aside.

“Before and since the reception of this letter, I tried to find a solution to rectify the situation, but the early start of the federal campaign has prevented me from resolving this problem before October 19th 2015,” she wrote in her letter.

Liberal spokesman Olivier Duchesneau told The Huffington Post Québec that the party had only recently learned Crevier Bélair had not settled her file with Quebec’s chief electoral officer, despite promising she would do this months ago.

Since the beginning of the campaign, another Liberal candidate Mario Tremblay has come under fire. Tremblay suggested on Facebook that he had voted for the Parti Quebecois. He blamed one of his volunteers for suggesting he was a separatist.

Crevier Bélair was running in the riding Pierre-Boucher-Les-Patriotes-Verchères. The party said it would soon select another candidate.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Crevier Bélair had forgotten to pay her loan. She told HuffPost Quebec that she had not forgotten to pay or neglect to pay her loan back. She declined to comment any further.

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In Photos: Canada Election 2015