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Proposal would force Quebec mayors out of office if convicted of a crime

QUEBEC — Mayors in Quebec who are found guilty of a crime would be forced to leave office under proposed changes to a provincial law tabled Wednesday by Municipal Affairs Minister Martin Coiteux.

The measure, if adopted, would be included in Bill 83, which is aimed at tightening the regulations covering municipal funding.

Coiteux's proposal would also see mayors denied the right to severance pay if they leave office before the end of their mandate, except in cases of major health problems.

Bill 83 is currently undergoing a clause-by-clause study in the legislature.

Coiteux told the French service of The Canadian Press Wednesday that his intention is to raise the ethical level of municipal practices and ensure citizens have more confidence in their mayor and other municipal officials.

The changes, if adopted, could affect the mayor of the community of Baie-Trinite northeast of Quebec City. Denis Lejeune remains the mayor of the small town despite being convicted of sexual assault last July.

Coiteux's measure would largely mirror rules in the legislature adopted last December. Members agreed to give up a generous severance if they left office before the end of their term, except in cases of serious health problems for themselves or family members.

The Canadian Press

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