New Longueuil mayor sent 'serious threat' over deer cull; police investigating
MONTREAL -- It would be déjà-vu, except for the new face at the centre of it. After the City of Longueuil announced it would cull deer in a park, the city's mayor -- 29-year-old Catherine Fournier -- has been sent a threat serious enough to involve police.
The last time this happened, it was former Longueuil mayor Sylvie Parent who was the subject of the threats. At least three threats were made against Parent last fall, with police even saying protection would be provided to her if necessary.
Other threats, to disrupt the cull operation itself, ultimately forced Longueuil to call it off.
Almost exactly a year later, the city announced Tuesday that it's launching a new plan to cull deer in Michel-Chartrand Park.
Within 12 hours, police were looking into a threat against Fournier.
"It was a serious threat received on social media," Fournier's spokesperson, Camille Desrosiers-Laferrière, told CTV.
Despite the high-profile and often heated issue, the rest of the comments were "all cordial," she added.
The mayor's office is in contact with Longueuil Police, she said.
François Boucher of Longueuil Police said that the force has been informed of "a situation" and that it's under investigation, and that he couldn't provide more details.
Last year, three people were arrested over threats made to Parent, the former mayor. The outcome of those cases is unclear. At least one of those threats was described at the time as a death threat.
All of those arrested were in their 20s and 30s and didn't live in Longueuil, police said at the time.
Last year, the culling plan would have involved about 15 deer. This year, the city says there are 70 deer it must deal with after the population exploded over the last year.
It has maintained that the natural environment of the park is becoming degraded, that the deer can carry Lyme disease and are a traffic hazard, and that the deer themselves are malnourished, with the park not big enough to feed the size of the deer population.
While many have suggested relocating the deer to nature parks, wildlife experts said that doing so would not be kind to the deer and that the process of relocation could kill them.