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CAQ candidate Ian Lafrenière says he experienced ‘political interference’ as police officer

CAQ star candidate Ian Lafrenière claims that he'd experienced political interference when he was a police officer is making waves on the Quebec campaign trail today. Sunday, September 2, 2018. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A star candidate’s claim that he experienced political interference when he was a police officer was making waves Sunday on the Quebec campaign trail.

Former Montreal police spokesman and Coalition Avenir Québec candidate Ian Lafrenière told TVA on Saturday that the thing he hated most about being a police officer was the “political interference,” though he did not go into details about the allegations.

READ MORE: High-profile police officer moves to politics as CAQ candidate

Reaction among the other parties was swift, with Liberal party candidate Marc Tanguay accusing Lafrenière of undermining confidence in public institutions, and questioning why he didn’t denounce the interference as it occurred.

READ MORE: CAQ leader considers police protection for Ian Lafrenière following threats

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Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée says Lafrenière lacks credibility, and called on the candidate to provide proof of the serious accusations he is making.

Lafrenière reacts to political storm

Speaking at a beer festival in Chambly on Sunday, Lafrenière clarified his statement.

“Not about to reveal Watergate or something like that. It’s nothing big, I was referring to the Chamberlain commission,” the former police officer explained. “We all learned the sad story for Montreal police, which was political people calling police asking them to do an investigation.”

Lafrenière added he was surprised the remarks brought forth such a strong reaction.

“I’m not really used to that. So I’ll stick to the facts. I said that yesterday. I’m not going to do the opposite but I’m surprised to see the PQ and Liberals jumping in,” he said.

Lafrenière went on to say the head of the UPAC, the province’s anti-corruption squad, should be elected by the National Assembly.

It’s one of the campaign promises François Legault has made if his party is elected. The CAQ leader says he would review the nomination process for the heads of the province’s police forces for not only the anti-corruption squad but also for the Montreal police, and the provincial police.

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With files from Dan Spector

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