QUEBEC — Former Quebec deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau said Tuesday the province's anti-corruption unit has declared war on her.
On her first day of work for Quebec City radio station BLVD FM, the ex-cabinet minister ripped up her membership for the provincial Liberal party.
Normandeau is charged with conspiracy, corruption, breach of trust and fraud in an alleged scheme in which police say political financing and gifts were exchanged for lucrative government contracts between 2000 and 2012.
"I never committed a criminal act," she told her listeners. "I am not guilty of what I am being charged."
Normandeau was a member of the legislature between 1998 and 2011. She held senior positions in Jean Charest's Liberal cabinet as well as being deputy premier between 2007 and 2011.
After leaving politics, Normandeau began co-hosting a radio show in the provincial capital but was let go shortly after her arrest.
She was since rehired as a radio host and launched her new program Tuesday.
Normandeau accused the province's anti-corruption squad, known as UPAC, of deliberately targeting her.
"UPAC declared war against me," she said on-air. "But today, I can tell you, I am ready for the fight."
Premier Philippe Couillard recently issued a directive to his cabinet ministers forbidding them from appearing on Normandeau's show.
"I find that Couillard is very much guided by fear right now," she said. "Everything that he has done to me shows that."
She added that she is not allowing any elected members of Quebec's legislature on her show.
Her criminal case resumes Sept. 28.