Candidate Laraque: Legitimate candidate, or just a political stunt?

Thomas Bink
July 9, 2013
Former Oiler Georges Laraque made the offer in a letter to Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel.

On Tuesday morning, former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque confirmed that he will be seeking a seat in the House of Commons alongside Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau.

Laraque, who is the deputy leader of the Green party, said at a news conference with Green leader Elizabeth May that he will begin campaigning immediately for the eventual byelection in the Montreal riding of Bourassa.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us and I want to take advantage of the summer to meet you and listen to your concerns," Laraque said. "I’ll be in Bourassa all summer, and you can already get in touch with me now."

It's not the first attempt at a second career for the former hockey pugilist, who racked up 142 fights for the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens.

He toyed with the idea of becoming an MMA fighter. He skated in the CBC competition Battle of the Blades. He sold synthetic ice panels, played poker and most recently tried to unionize the Canadian Hockey League.

That ended in disaster for Laraque when he was forced to resign his position as executive director amid a scandal involving a "mysterious recruiter, a hired private investigator and allegations a convicted fraud artist is involved with the organization," according to the Globe and Mail.

Since then, Laraque has sung a very different tune, embracing political activism and veganism, as well as taking up various animal-rights and environmental causes. He's also been involved in humanitarian work in Haiti since the country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010.

So we ask you: Is Georges Laraque a legitimate candidate, or is this just another publicity stunt?

Have your say in the comments area below.