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An investigation into CAQ MP Sylvain Lévesque

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Sylvain Lévesque, CAQ MP for the Chauveau riding, is the target of an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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The Ethics Commissioner and ethics, Ariane Mignolet, opens an investigation into the second vice-president of the National Assembly and CAQ deputy for Chauveau, Sylvain Lévesque.

It follows a request filed by the solidarity MP for Rosemont, Vincent Marissal, last Wednesday, in reaction to revelations from Radio-Canada on the ethical questions raised by certain financing activities of the Coalition Avenir Québec.

Mr. Marissal is particularly concerned about a situation reported by a citizen from the Chauveau constituency, who had asked Sylvain Lévesque to help her forward a file to Eric Girard, the Quebec Minister of Finance .

An employee of Mr. Lévesque's office then suggested that this citizen participate in a fundraising cocktail to be able to meet the minister. She would have had to pay $100, which she refused to do.

The CAQ gives the appearance of monetize access to his ministers. I think we have crossed the ethical line, Mr. Marissal was indignant after this revelation.

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The office of the chief government whip defended itself by asserting that under no circumstances do we ask citizens to participate in an event in order to meet an elected official.

The Ethics Commissioner, however, judged that an investigation was necessary.

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Ariane Mignolet, Ethics Commissioner of Quebec

In a press release published Monday, she indicates that she will look into a possible breach of article 36 of the Code of ethics and professional conduct of members of the National Assembly, which concerns the use by deputies of state goods and services for activities related to the exercise of their office.

She specifies that the alleged facts concern the use, by a member of the staff of the Chauveau constituency office in the exercise of her duties, of computer equipment and the official email address provided by the National Assembly to promote the partisan fundraising activities of the Coalition Avenir Québec.

Mr. Lévesque was informed in writing of the opening of this investigation which will take place behind closed doors, in accordance with what is provided for in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Members of the National Assembly.

Radio-Canada's revelations also covered other activities of CAQ elected officials, notably the organization of a networking evening by the member for Marie-Victorin, Shirley Dorismond, in the presence of Minister Jean Boulet and Michel Philibert, chief of staff of the Minister for the Economy.

However, the guidelines of the Ethics Commissioner specifies that it is prohibited to use one's title or functions as a staff member while carrying out partisan activities.

The Electoral Law also stipulates that no advantage or consideration may be offered to a voter in exchange for a contribution.

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