Laraque's not done fighting

The Green Party is hoping Georges Laraque is as formidable off the ice as he is on it. (David...

The Green Party is hoping Georges Laraque is as formidable off the ice as he is on it. (David Bloom/QMI AGENCY)

JEFF CUMMINGS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:30 PM ET

EDMONTON - Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has an enforcer behind her.

Former Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Candiens tough guy Georges Laraque has been named as the federal political party's deputy leader - a volunteer position - May announced Saturday.

And May says it was "completely" her decision since her party needs to make some ground in Quebec when it comes to the next election.

"I was looking for someone who could really take us to the next level," May told QMI Agency.

Laraque, who joined the party in February, said the Green Party is the right fit because it "truly cares about building a healthy and just society."

"I am all about protecting the environment," said Laraque. "And we are all losing in Canada when it comes to protecting the environment."

The 260-pound retired NHLer says his role with the party is strictly a volunteer position and he won't be running for a seat in the next election.

The longtime hockey scrapper, who maintains a strict vegan diet, saif he will act as a spokesman as the party's deputy leader.

May thinks the Greens can make progress with Laraque's star power.

"We are being projected to win seats in the next election, and ideally, we wanted someone who was Francophone," said May.

"It raises the profile of the party for people who are not at all interested in politics."

Since the Montreal Canadiens cut Laraque last season, Laraque has found work with TerraSphere Systems. The high-tech company takes advantage of vertical farming practices that, it claims, will put an end to any hunger crisis.

Laraque joins Adriane Carr as a deputy leader of the Greens. The Green Party always has two deputy leaders.

Laraque replaces Jacques Rivard, who jumped to the Bloc Quebecois in June.


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