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A Canadian Mayor Made Up A Story About An Injured Teenager Just To Teach A Councillor A "Lesson"

Why?

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This is Jean-François Parenteau, the mayor of Verdun, Quebec. Over the weekend, he pulled a bizarre prank by claiming a teenager had been seriously hurt at a new skate park.

The man who spearheaded the campaign for a new skate park is Verdun councillor Sterling Downey, who is also a political opponent to the mayor.

Helping with final touches on new #Verdun #Skatepark to get it open ASAP! #skateboarding #polmtl @projetmontreal

Parenteau sent a text message to Downey on Sunday telling him a 14-year-old boy was taken to hospital after suffering a head injury at a new skate park.

Downey took to his Facebook page Sunday night expressing his sympathy for the family of the hurt teenager.

A few hours later, though, he posted an update revealing the whole thing was a hoax by the mayor.

"I have just been re-advised by the Mayor that it wasn't true and NO ACCIDENT HAPPENED at the skate park," he wrote.

"Regardless, head injuries and head trauma incidents are nothing to joke about or to make up stories about especially when you involve a minor in your story."

It seems Parenteau's bizarre stunt had been to "teach a lesson" to Downey about what could happen if people skate in the unfinished park.

Screengrab / Montreal Gazette / Via montrealgazette.com

As an actual skateboarder, Downey has been getting lots of media attention for the project. The Montreal Gazette recently wrote about the new Verdun skate park and featured the councillor skating around testing the new facility.

But Downey says the skate park had support from the whole council, including the mayor.

"It's intimidation, it's jealousy," Downey told BuzzFeed Canada in explaining why Parenteau would lie about an injured skateboarder. "It's being twisted into me taking all the credit for the project when that's not the case at all."

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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