Verdun mayor made up story about skateboarding boy ending up in hospital

Montreal Gazette

Saying he wanted to teach a skateboarding city councillor “a lesson,” the mayor of Verdun has admitted he made up a story about a 14-year-old boy ending up in hospital after getting injured at an under-construction skateboard park.

In an interview, Jean-François Parenteau said he was upset with Verdun councillor Sterling Downey, who was shown skateboarding in the park in a Montreal Gazette video on Saturday. Downey also posted photos of youths skateboarding in the $700,000 park, which is scheduled to open in the coming days.

“It was not my best idea ever, but my intention was to ensure the safety of our kids,” Parenteau said Tuesday, adding that he has since apologized to the councillors.

On Sunday, Parenteau sent a message to city councillors advising them that a boy was in the Montreal Children’s Hospital in serious condition after falling head first while skateboarding in the park.

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