A Lebanese-Canadian businessman running for MP at the Canadian House of Commons has become a controversial figure due to his ties to Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).
Described as an “embarrassing candidate for [Canadian PM] Justin Trudeau” by the Le Journal de Montréal newspaper, Antoine Menassa is running as a representative of the Liberal Party of Canada in the Laurentides – Labelle electoral district of Quebec.
According to the said newspaper, which has conducted an investigation into Manessa, the businessman was, until last Tuesday, President of the Montreal section of the Council of Lebanese-Canadian Organizations, which supports and defends the FPM in Canada.
“President Michel Aoun… is a controversial figure because of the deals he made with the Lebanese Hezbollah (an organization recognized as terrorist by Canada) to gain power,” Jules Richer, who reported on the investigation, wrote on Wednesday.
“Under the leadership of Mr. Aoun, Lebanon is currently going through an unprecedented economic crisis which raises fears of the worst in the country,” Richer added.
This controversy raises questions about “conflicts of interest if the candidate were to be elected to the House of Commons” the journalist noted.
Menassa had previously been asked to resign from the position by the Liberal Party, but he only did so after le Journal de Montréal began its investigation, according to the newspaper’s information.
Notably, the aforementioned council’s website, which listed Menassa as president, became inaccessible on Wednesday.
The businessman has maintained that he had stepped down back in August, but the newspaper cites Quebec Business Register as proof that he kept his position until Tuesday.
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