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A mayor makes a donation to the CAQ , its Municipality reimburses it

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The Minister of Municipal Affairs of Quebec met the mayor of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! at a fundraising dinner last October. (Archive photo)

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The mayor of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Mélissa Lord, finds herself in the spotlight while she and the director general of the municipality were reimbursed for donations to the Coalition Avenir Québec. These amounts were reimbursed to them by the Municipality after their participation in a dinner on October 26 with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest.

Reached by telephone, the mayor mentioned that, for her, this meeting which took place at the golf club of her municipality was not partisan. She thought she was going to an event that would allow her to meet the minister and raise her awareness of various municipal issues in the Témiscouata region.

The mayor says she received the invitation for this dinner conference from the office of the MP for Rivière-du-Loup–Témiscouata, Amélie Dionne .

Mélissa Lord says she was able to talk with Andrée Laforest for just a few minutes. During the summer, her municipality had been strongly affected by the overflowing of certain rivers and she wanted to raise awareness of the significant costs that these events had caused.

I had barely five minutes with the minister. Time for a photo and to talk for a few minutes about different files. It was a waste of time.

A quote from Mélissa Lord, mayor of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!

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The mayor of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Mélissa Lord, indicates that a request for financial assistance to hire an employee in partnership with another municipality in the MRC was also discussed during discussions with the minister.

The mayor of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! points out that she and her general manager requested a refund without knowing that it was against the law. Mélissa Lord mentions that they will return the amount that was reimbursed to them. We are straight and transparent and we will remain so.

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Questioned in Quebec, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest, emphasizes that the purpose of his presence in Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, last October 26, was clear. It was a fundraising cocktail.

Go and see the invitation sent to the mayors. It was very clear. And honestly, anyone can meet me without funding.

A quote from Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs of Quebec

In recent months, the Coalition Avenir Québec has been the target of numerous criticisms concerning different fundraising activities. The party also decided, at the beginning of February, to draw a line under political donations.

Made aware of this story, the Parti Québécois asked the Chief Electoral Officer to shed light on what may have happened in Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! in October.

In a letter sent to the Chief Electoral Officer, the president of the Parti Québécois, Catherine Gentilcore, requests that verifications be made concerning the conformity of the contributions made by mayors, by councilors, and by senior municipal officials, to this political party.

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