Masham, Que candidate fears for kids after phone threat


by Trevor Greenway on October 15, 2009

There will be no late night campaigning for Stephanie Berard after the La Peche, Quebec council candidate for Ward 3 received a telephone threat that left her fearing for her family’s safety.

Berard told the Low Down she received a phone call at around 5 p.m. Oct. 7 from what sounded like a male disguising his voice. He demanded that she pull out of the race for councillor in Ward 3 if she wanted her family to remain safe.

Oct. 14 front page

Oct. 14 front page

“The man said ‘If you don’t quit, then something bad will happen to you and your children,’” said Berard, who added that the phone call terrified her.

“I was really afraid about that.”

She immediately called MRC des Collines Police to launch a formal complaint, but now she’s nervous about campaigning in the streets of Masham’s centre village alone.

“I will just have to knock on doors in the daytime.”

Berard said that because her children were also mentioned, the threat has taken on a whole new level of seriousness.

“For my kids, it’s incredible,” she said, adding that she relayed the threat to her children’s principal as a precaution.

“We have two kids and we have to keep them safe.”

Although the threat demanded that she drop out of the candidate’s race, Berard isn’t going to be a victim of bullying, she said, adding the person must be afraid of her popularity and strength.

“It’s just intimidation,” she said.

“I think the person is afraid because I have a good chance of winning the ward.”

The other two candidates are Yves Lemieux and Christian Blais.

MRC des Collines Police Spokesperson Martin Fournel said that officers are taking the case very seriously and will make an arrest if they find out the caller’s identity.

He added that it’s “impossible” to tell, at this point, who made the call, but that officers are working hard on the case.

“The file is open on this case,” he said.