Lucien Rivard

Lucien Rivard, convicted drug smuggler (born at Montréal, 16 Jun 1914; died 3 Feb 2002). An underworld figure of no great consequence, he was arrested in Montréal in 1965 on narcotics charges filed by US authorities.

Lucien Rivard

Lucien Rivard, convicted drug smuggler (born at Montréal, 16 Jun 1914; died 3 Feb 2002). An underworld figure of no great consequence, he was arrested in Montréal in 1965 on narcotics charges filed by US authorities. While fighting extradition, he escaped from jail after obtaining a garden hose "to flood the skating rink" on a spring evening with the temperature above freezing. Allegedly, Rivard used the hose to climb the wall and was at large for four months. During that time, charges of bribery connected with the letters he wrote to various people regarding the escape, including Prime Minister Lester Pearson, created a scandal for the federal Liberal government. Bribery allegations stemming from the escape prompted a royal commission that looked into the "Rivard affair" and criticized Minister of Justice Guy FAVREAU, who resigned. Rivard was extradited to the US. Convicted of smuggling narcotics, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He served 9 years, and was then deported back to Canada.

In 1965, the Canadian Press named Rivard the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year. In 2008 the Québec film, Le piège Américain documented the Rivard story.