Raymond Lavigne

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Raymond Lavigne
Senator for Montarville, Quebec
In office
March 26, 2002 – March 21, 2011
Appointed byJean Chrétien
Preceded bySheila Finestone
Succeeded byJosée Verner
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles
Verdun—Saint-Paul (1993–1997)
Verdun—Saint-Henri (1997–2000)
In office
October 25, 1993 – March 25, 2002[1]
Preceded byGilbert Chartrand
Succeeded byLiza Frulla
Personal details
Born (1945-11-16) November 16, 1945 (age 78)
Political partyIndependent Liberal
Other political
Liberal Party of Canada
SpouseCarmen Robichaud

Raymond Lavigne (born November 16, 1945) is a former Canadian senator and businessman, and a former Member of Parliament (MP).


Lavigne first ran as a Liberal candidate for the House of Commons of Canada 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.

He was appointed to the Senate on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to make his riding available for Liza Frulla, a former Quebec cabinet minister.

Criminal charges and convictions[edit]

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.[2]

Since then, Lavigne's lawyer said that Lavigne had agreed to pay back the $23,000, without an admission of wrongdoing.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]

His trial on these charges began December 9, 2009.[5] Closing arguments took place on September 17, 2010,[6] having been rescheduled from July 2010 to allow Lavigne to obtain trial transcripts.[7] 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.[8] A final ruling was scheduled to be issued on February 22, 2011,[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Because of the maximum term of 14 years in prison, Lavigne is not eligible for a discharge.[12] 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.[13] Under Rules 138–139,[13] 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 March 21, 2011, Lavigne resigned from the Senate.[14][15]

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.[11] Lavigne appealed both his convictions and sentences, but his appeals were rejected. He began serving his sentence in June, 2013.[16]

Electoral record[edit]

2000 Canadian federal election: Verdun–Saint-Henri–Saint-Paul–Pointe Saint-Charles
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
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
Alliance Jacques Gendron 2,098 5.15 $12,598
New Democratic Matthew McLauchlin 1,003 2.46 $1,499
Green Lorraine Ann Craig 933 2.29 $22
Marijuana Marc-André Roy 924 2.27 $46
Communist Bill Sloan 148 0.36 $1,627
Christian Heritage William Lorenson 117 0.29 $298
Total valid votes 40,774 100.00
Total rejected ballots 1,200
Turnout 41,974 59.05
Electors on the lists 71,085
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.
1997 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Raymond Lavigne 21,424
Bloc Québécois Donald Longépée 15,153
Progressive Conservative Aline Aubut 6,838
New Democratic Claude Ledoux 1,156
Natural Law Michèle Beausoleil 498
Reform Deepak Massand 380
Marxist–Leninist Geneviève Royer 205

1993 Canadian federal election: Verdun—Saint-Paul
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Raymond Lavigne 19,644 43.69 $36,451
  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
Green Jean-Marc Beaudin 598 1.33 $1
  Natural Law Marylise Baux 432 0.96 $408
  Abolitionist Yvan Cousineau 140 0.31 $0
  National J.J. McPherson 130 0.29 $466
  Non-affiliated Deepak Massand 115 0.26 $6,744
  Commonwealth Golam Khan 88 0.20 $0
Total valid votes 44,966 100.00
Total rejected ballots 1,720
Turnout 46,686 75.50
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.
1988 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Progressive Conservative Gilbert Chartrand 20,113
Liberal Raymond Lavigne 15,207
New Democratic Alain Tassé 6,572
Green Jan-Marc Lavergne 1,339
Rhinoceros Irène Maman Mayer 902
Commonwealth of Canada Claude Brosseau 142
Independent Yvon Turgeon 105


  1. ^ House of Commons Journal for April 8, 2002 (37th Parliament, 1st Session, No. 163)
  2. ^ a b Liberal Senator Lavigne kicked out of caucus
  3. ^ Liberal Sen. Raymond Lavigne charged with fraud[dead link]
  4. ^ "Senator charged with fraud still spending". CBC News. 5 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Lavigne pleads not guilty". Ottawa Citizen. 9 November 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  6. ^ Raj, Althia (17 September 2010). "Senator defrauded taxpayers, judge told". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  7. ^ Raj, Althia (14 July 2010). "Another delay in senator's trial". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Senator's fraud trial decision delayed". TorontoSun. 12 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Ruling to come next month in Senator Raymond Lavigne's fraud trial". Winnipeg Free Press. 7 January 2011.
  10. ^ Thompson, Elizabeth (12 February 2011). "Senator's date with judgment postponed again". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 22 February 2010.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Sen. Lavigne guilty of fraud, breach of trust". CBC News. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Sentencing in Canada" (PDF). John Howard Society. 1999. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Rules of the Senate". Senate of Canada. December 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  14. ^ "Convicted Senator Lavigne quits". CBC News, 21 March 2011.
  15. ^ "Disgraced Senator Lavigne resigns after fraud conviction". Toronto Star, 21 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Former Liberal senator convicted of fraud begins jail term". CBC.ca. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.

External links[edit]