Quebec Liberals approached police union boss Yves Francoeur to replace Robert Poëti

Quebec's Liberal government approached the outspoken head of Montreal's police union, Yves Francoeur, earlier this year with an offer to run as a Liberal candidate in the Marguerite-Bourgeoys riding, but the union boss refused, Radio-Canada has learned.

The provincial riding is represented by the Liberal MNA Robert Poëti, who served as Quebec's transport minister before he was ousted in a cabinet shuffle in January 2016.

Poëti has represented the Liberals in Marguerite-Bourgeoys since 2012.

Radio-Canada says the Liberals approached Francoeur, president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood, in January 2017 to see if he was interested in taking over from Poëti.

Francoeur confirmed the news in a tweet on Tuesday but said he "strongly and unequivocally" refused the offer.

The news comes on the heels of explosive allegations made by Francoeur last week that two Liberal MNAs were investigated for an illegal political fundraising scheme in 2012, but a decision to charge them was blocked.

That alleged interference may soon be the subject of a police investigation. 

Premier Philippe Couillard's office did not comment on the revelation that Liberal representatives had approached Francoeur to replace Poëti.

Poëti, who is also a former police officer, said Tuesday that he has the support of his riding.

"If there were any who thought that after the shuffle I would leave, and the riding would become available, they were wrong," Poëti said. 

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