Couillard defends Liberal candidate who allegedly leaked info to rivals

Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard responds to reporters questions during a visit of a cedar shingle plant in Saint-Prosper, Que., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec Liberal Party Leader Philippe Couillard is defending a candidate accused of leaking embarrassing information to the rival Coalition Avenir Québec.

Couillard told reporters today he hadn’t yet spoken about the leak to Guy Ouellette — a former provincial police officer turned politician — but his team has left messages with the candidate.

READ MORE: Guy Ouellette testifies in corruption trial

Ouellette allegedly provided the opposition with incriminating information about someone the Liberals had nominated to a public-service post in 2016. CAQ Leader François Legault has confirmed the tip came from Ouellette.

The Liberal leader defended the longtime Liberal as loyal and popular in his riding north of Montreal.

Meanwhile, the CAQ leader is not apologizing for identifying Ouellette as the party’s mole.

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Legault first denied outing Ouellette but later admitted he did so in the name of “truth.”

Ouellette was arrested last October by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit in a separate case involving leaks within the unit, known commonly as UPAC.

The former organized-crime investigator was never charged with any crime, and after a brief exile he was allowed to return to the Liberal caucus.

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