09/22/2014 01:24 EDT | Updated 11/22/2014 05:59 EST

Nathalie Normandeau Courted By Liberals? Party Says No


OTTAWA - Former deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau said Monday she has been approached by the federal Liberals about running for the party in Quebec.

Normandeau "confirms she has been courted by the Liberal Party of Canada," her spokesman, David Couturier, said in an email.

"However, she will make no further comment."

The email was sent shortly after a senior Liberal official denied the party had contacted Normandeau.

"It's just a rumour," Pablo Rodriguez, co-president of the party's campaign in Quebec, said in a statement.

"We have held no discussions with Nathalie Normandeau . . . . We haven't approached Madame Normandeau and we have no intention of doing so either."

Normandeau, 46, represented the eastern Quebec riding of Bonaventure between 1998 and 2011. She also served as mayor of the small Gaspe community of Maria in the 1990s.

She held several ministerial posts in the government of then-premier Jean Charest, including running at various times the departments of municipal affairs, tourism, natural resources, regional development and tourism.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, did not want to discuss reports they also are wooing Normandeau.

"We meet plenty of people who are interested (in running)," party spokesman Marc-Andre Leclerc said in an email.

"We don't comment on specific cases."

Normandeau was in the news last June when she testified at the provincial corruption inquiry and defended the decisions she made as a cabinet minister.

She told the Charbonneau Commission she exercised her discretionary powers as a cabinet minister with care and insisted she didn't put undue pressure on civil servants.

Her name had been mentioned during previous testimony and she had been accused of benefiting from illegal financing practices, accepting gifts from entrepreneurs and favouring funding for projects involving firms that donated heavily to the Quebec Liberals.

Anti-corruption police officials alleged in court documents this year that Normandeau intervened in favour of the Roche engineering firm against the advice of civil servants.

However, no charges were laid and the allegations were not tested in court.

She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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