Laval Mayor Marc Demers announced the creation of a new fund Monday, aimed at improving the lives of youth from underprivileged neighbourhoods on the island.The fund, named Place-du-Souvenir, was created in response to needs expressed by community members, Demers told reporters gathered at a news conference.But it’s also a way for the city to make up for past wrongs. Story continues below
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READ MORE: Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt sentenced after pleading guilty to fraudThe $10-million capital used to set the fund up comes from money recouped from sums diverted by corruption and collusion.The city said a six per cent return on the capital investment, equivalent to $600,000 per year, will be invested in youth programs to help fight poverty and social exclusion, as well as encouraging youth to pursue their education,READ MORE: Laval mayor promises to crack down on corruptionThe name of the fund is no accident either.
A view of Laval City Hall. Monday, June 19, 2017.
Karol Dahl/Global News
City Hall is located on Place du Souvenir, loosely translated as Remembrance Square and Demers wants the fund to serve as a reminder.“We wanted everyone to remember that giving in to corruption can have significant consequences,” he said.Laval’s former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt pleaded guilty last December to charges of fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy between 1996 – 2010.He was sentenced to six years in prison, minus time served and was told he would also have to reimburse $9 million, including $5.23 million from a Swiss bank account and his $1-million condo.
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