A former drug dealer who turned his life around and became a member of the Saskatchewan legislature, only to resign amid further drug allegations, has died.
Serge LeClerc died on Saturday morning after a battle with cancer, according to a statement released by Premier Brad Wall.
Mr. LeClerc was a member of the Saskatchewan Party and was elected in 2007 in the riding of Saskatoon Northwest.
But he was hit in early 2010 with allegations that he used drugs and had cocaine delivered to his home while he was a member of the legislature.
Mr. LeClerc admitted he was a cocaine addict for 20 years but said he hadn't done drugs since 1986.
Mr. Wall expressed his condolences to Mr. LeClerc's family, calling his life a story of redemption.
"Serge overcame a very troubled past and went on to touch the lives of thousands of young people with his powerful message about the dangers of drug use," Mr. Wall said in the statement.
According to Mr. LeClerc's own website, by the age of 12, he had "developed numerous ties to the future heads of motorcycle gangs and crime organizations. He later became a feared gang leader and drug dealer, eventually becoming heavily addicted to crystal meth, heroin, crack and cocaine."
He straightened himself out while serving time in prison, including a stint Quebec's tough St. Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary.
After Mr. LeClerc was released in 1988, he got a degree in sociology with a minor in social work from the University of Waterloo. He then began work as a motivational speaker and addictions counsellor.
He was pardoned in 2000.
He resigned last August for medical reasons not long after the new allegations surfaced.
Mr. LeClerc was never charged in connection with the allegations.
Saskatchewan's conflict of interest commissioner reviewed the case after the CBC was given a recording in which a person said to be Mr. LeClerc talked about recent drug use.
The commissioner said an RCMP audio expert determined the recording was not doctored, as Mr. LeClerc had claimed.
"According to the content of the recordings, it is my opinion that Mr. LeClerc smoked marijuana during the time period he was an MLA, and that he had an unidentified person bring cocaine to his residence during the time period he was an MLA," commissioner Ronald Barclay's report stated.
The commissioner also blasted Mr. LeClerc for throwing away a government computer hard drive that might have contained evidence.
Mr. Wall said Mr. LeClerc was an impassioned member of the legislature who worked tirelessly for better drug addiction services.
"Serge spoke his mind," Mr. Wall said. "People didn't always want to hear what he had to say, but he said what he believed and I respected him for that."
"That voice will be missed."