A Conservative candidate once castigated in court for writing bad cheques hosted a rally with Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday, a week after the party dumped another candidate over past financial woes.
Agop Evereklian, the Tory candidate in a Montreal-area riding, lost a case in Quebec civil court in 2005 while his business was going bankrupt and was ordered to pay back $29,632.
Evereklian has run for the Tories in two straight campaigns even though the party's vetting procedure asks candidates for any past financial and legal problems.
Evereklian once owned a Kia car dealership that wound up $2 million in debt. Just before it went bankrupt, he bought a car from another dealership in order to close a sale with a buyer.And he can't even get the rally crowd size straight! He says 1200 were there last night. Canadian Press says 600. Who ya gonna believe? Hmmm?
The court heard how he wrote a bad cheque to the other dealership for $30,000, and then another. They both bounced.
A judge hearing the civil suit concluded Evereklian had taken the car _ and cut the cheques _ knowing full well he didn't have the means to pay.
The verdict also said Evereklian transferred money to his wife, and paid off debts that he and family members were personally responsible for, after receiving court papers from the other car dealership.
The court ordered him to pay back the other dealer in cash, despite his bankruptcy.
"The defendant knew he was up to his neck and acted purely out of personal interest," wrote Judge Georges Massol.
"He knew perfectly well that the first cheque ... wouldn't pass. Same thing for the second _ seeing as how the account was closed."
Evereklian later paid back the money.
His past troubles made news in Quebec's French-language media before the 2008 election, when he failed to win a seat in another Montreal-area riding.
Seems a new candidate background checker is in order. Just because the candidate was a former chief of staff to Kenney doesn't necessarily mean he passes muster.
Excellent work, Conservative brain trust. Quite a week in Quebec all round for them. I assume the voters there read the papers.