||This article may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (August 2014)|
|Senator for Montarville, Quebec|
March 26, 2002 – March 21, 2011
|Appointed by||Jean Chrétien|
|Preceded by||Sheila Finestone|
|Succeeded by||Josée Verner|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles
October 25, 1993 – March 25, 2002
|Preceded by||Gilbert Chartrand|
|Succeeded by||Liza Frulla|
|Born||November 16, 1945|
|Political party||Independent Liberal
|Liberal Party of Canada
Lavigne first ran as a Liberal candidate for the Canadian House of Commons in the Quebec riding of Verdun—Saint-Paul at the 1988 election but was unsuccessful. He successfully contested the riding in the 1993 election. He was re-elected as the MP for the riding, with altered boundaries, in the 1997 and 2000 federal elections. He served until he was appointed to the Canadian Senate on March 26, 2002.
Criminal charges and convictions
On June 8, 2006, he was expelled from the Liberal caucus after allegedly misusing Senate funds for personal use. He apparently used $23,000 in funds for work on his estate, including having his executive assistant cut down trees on his property.
Since then, Lavigne's lawyer said that Lavigne had agreed to pay back the $23,000, without an admission of wrongdoing.
On August 14, 2007, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who had been investigating allegations raised concerning the misuse of funds for the last year, laid criminal charges against Lavigne: fraud over $5,000, breach of trust and obstruction of justice. Because of the criminal proceedings, Lavigne is barred from sitting in the Senate or taking part in any Senate committees, but still drew a salary and was entitled to claim expenses.
His trial on these charges began December 9, 2009. Closing arguments took place on September 17, 2010, having been rescheduled from July 2010 to allow Lavigne to obtain trial transcripts. On November 12, 2010, it was announced by the court that Judge Robert Smith's decision is ready but a date for the decision could not be set because Lavigne's lawyers did not show up. A final ruling was scheduled to be issued on February 22, 2011, but the court instead heard argument on how much weight should be given to Senate report on expenses spending. Lavigne's lawyers argued he should not be found guilty because the rules were unclear. On March 11, 2011, Lavigne was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust, and was acquitted on the third charge of obstruction of justice.
Because of the maximum term of 14 years in prison, Lavigne is not eligible for a discharge. Therefore, he will be suspended from the Senate under Senate Rule 141 from the date of his sentencing until his sentence is overturned on appeal or the Senate decides whether to expel him. Under Rules 138–139, he will not receive a sessional allowance or various perquisites to which senators are entitled; it is not clear whether his salary will be affected by the suspension.
On May 10, 2011, Lavigne was sentenced to six months in prison with an additional, consecutive six month conditional sentence to be served at home. Lavigne appealed both his convictions and sentences, but his appeals were rejected. He began serving his sentence in June, 2013.
|Canadian federal election, 2000: Verdun–Saint-Henri–Saint-Paul–Pointe Saint-Charles|
|Liberal||Raymond Lavigne (incumbent)||20,905||51.27||$59,347|
|Bloc Québécois||Pedro Utillano||11,976||29.37||$34,065|
|Progressive Conservative||Bernard Côté||2,670||6.55||$3,761|
|New Democratic||Matthew McLauchlin||1,003||2.46||$1,499|
|Green||Lorraine Ann Craig||933||2.29||$22|
|N/A (Christian Heritage)||William Lorenson||117||0.29||$298|
|Total valid votes||40,774||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||1,200|
|Electors on the lists||71,085|
|Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.|
|Canadian federal election, 1997|
|Bloc Québécois||Donald Longépée||15,153|
|Progressive Conservative||Aline Aubut||6,838|
|New Democratic||Claude Ledoux||1,156|
|Natural Law||Michèle Beausoleil||498|
|Canadian federal election, 1993: Verdun—Saint-Paul|
|Bloc Québécois||Kim Beaudoin||19,095||42.47||$35,583|
|Progressive Conservative||André Martin||3,864||8.59||$51,508|
|New Democratic Party||Claude Ledoux||860||1.91||$0|
|Natural Law||Marylise Baux||432||0.96||$408|
|Total valid votes||44,966||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||1,720|
|Electors on the lists||61,838|
|Source: Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from the official contributions and expenses submitted by the candidates, provided by Elections Canada.|
|Canadian federal election, 1988|
|Progressive Conservative||Gilbert Chartrand||20,113|
|New Democratic||Alain Tassé||6,572|
|Rhinoceros||Irène Maman Mayer||902|
|Commonwealth of Canada||Claude Brosseau||142|
- House of Commons Journal for April 8, 2002 (37th Parliament, 1st Session, No. 163)
- Liberal Senator Lavigne kicked out of caucus
- Liberal Sen. Raymond Lavigne charged with fraud
- "Senator charged with fraud still spending". CBC News. January 5, 2010.
- "Lavigne pleads not guilty". Ottawa Citizen. November 9, 2009.
- Raj, Althia (September 17, 2010). "Senator defrauded taxpayers, judge told". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Raj, Althia (July 14, 2010). "Another delay in senator's trial". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Senator's fraud trial decision delayed". TorontoSun. November 12, 2010.
- "Ruling to come next month in Senator Raymond Lavigne's fraud trial". Winnipeg Free Press. January 7, 2011.
- Thompson, Elizabeth (12 February 2011). "Senator's date with judgment postponed again". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Sen. Lavigne guilty of fraud, breach of trust". CBC News. March 11, 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "Sentencing in Canada" (PDF). John Howard Society. 1999. p. 2. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "Rules of the Senate". Senate of Canada. December 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "Convicted Senator Lavigne quits". CBC News, 21 March 2011.
- "Disgraced Senator Lavigne resigns after fraud conviction". Toronto Star, 21 March 2011.
- "Former Liberal senator convicted of fraud begins jail term". CBC.ca. June 14, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2013.