Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque is ready for his next great fight. If he wins, he’ll join Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Ottawa.
Laraque, once the NHL’s most feared hockey enforcer, announced Tuesday he’ll be the Green Party of Canada’s candidate in the Montreal riding of Bourassa.
“Today is an important day for me. It is the result of many years of community involvement. I would be so proud to be chosen by the people of Bourassa to be their representative,” said Laraque, who is also the deputy leader of the Greens.
The former Montreal Canadien,Phoenix Coyote, Edmonton Oiler and Pittsburgh Penguin brings something special to the table.
He’s a first-generation Canadian of Haitian immigrant parents.
The oldest of three children, Laraque is a genuine humanitarian. He’s supported World Vision’s Haitian relief efforts. He’s traveled to Africa to support a foundation implementing “projects that promote life and the prevention of suicide among 12 to 25 year-old youths.”
In 2009, Laraque began an important protest against animal abuse by the meat industry; he became a vegan. Laraque also owns raw vegan restaurants called Crudessence.
A conscientious environmentalist, Laraque joined the Green Party of Canada in 2010 and is currently the party’s deputy leader.
But don’t think Laraque’s entry into the NHL was a piece of cake. He explains: “Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed of playing in the NHL. Unfortunately, that road was not an easy one because I had to endure so much racism. When the thought of quitting crossed my mind, I read an autobiography that changed my life forever and helped me make my dream come true: the autobiography of my hero Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play major league baseball.”
Laraque has written an autobiography: Georges Laraque: The Story of the NHL’s Unlikeliest Tough Guy. The book’s publisher, Penguin, says, “Known as a player who was unfailingly respectful and gentlemanly even when he was going toe-to-toe with the toughest guys in the toughest league in the world, today Laraque takes that courageous sense of what is fair into fights that are much more important than the outcome of a hockey game.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is yet to call the Bourassa by-election. Longtime Liberal MP Denis Coderre abandoned the riding early this year to run for Montreal mayor.
“We do not know the election date yet, but I want to launch my campaign now and take advantage of the summer to meet people in all of Bourassa’s neighbourhoods. I will need many volunteers. My election depends on the grassroots involvement of citizens: my success will be theirs.”
So, what can we expect from Laraque should he get elected? Elizabeth May, the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, assures us “Georges will always speak his mind.”
“Georges’ credibility in every sector of society puts him in an excellent position to become Bourassa’s next MP. Voters want an independent voice, not someone tied to a strict party line. Georges will always speak his mind. This is an important day for the Green movement in Quebec,” she said.
Check out Laraque’s campaign website HERE.