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Financing methods: Gilles Bélanger ensures that he is always available for elected officials

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“Never has an elected member of the CAQ demanded a contribution from anyone to have access to a minister”, writes Gilles Bélanger in an email. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, allows you to generate spoken text from written text.

In response to a text published by the Canadian Press on Tuesday on its financing methods, the MP for Orford, Gilles Bélanger, is categorical. “All the elected officials in my constituency have my cell number. They call me whenever they want. I am always available. My fellow ministers met more than 1,000 municipal officials last year in formal meetings. They are also available,” he said in an email sent to Radio-Canada.

Recall that in a message dating from November obtained by The Canadian Press, Gilles Bélanger invited the mayors of the MRC of Memphrémagog to meet the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, in exchange for a $100 contribution.

Other deputies from the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) were also named in matters related to financing, namely Yves Montigny, Sylvain Lévesque and Louis-Charles Thouin.

Sylvain Lévesque and Louis-Charles Thouin are already the subject of investigations by the Ethics Commissioner of Quebec.

Québec solidaire (QC), which had transmitted the first two complaints to the commissioner, sent two other requests for investigations on Wednesday, including one concerning Gilles Bélanger.

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A volunteer activist in my constituency sent out email invitations for my fundraising cocktail. And in this email list, there were municipal elected officials. That’s all, however, maintains the MP.

Never has an elected member of the CAQ demanded a contribution from anyone to have access to a minister . To claim the opposite is simply false and misleading.

A quote from Gilles Bélanger, MP for Orford

To put an end to suspicion, should we now completely eliminate donations to political parties? My colleagues Bernard Drainville and Jean-François Roberge said this morning, the CAQ is ready to discuss it. The ball is in the court of the other parties, he adds.

This week, the CAQ said it was ready to put an end to the private financing of political parties, if the other parties agree.

At the microphone of Looking forward to the return, the mayor of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley and president of the Fédération québécoise des municipalities, Jacques Demers, stressed that he had not been made aware of files that could have moved forward thanks to funding such as those criticized by elected officials.

The $100 must not come from a business, nor from a municipality or MRC. This is the money that people choose [to spend themselves] to go and listen to the speech of a person who has come [to their region]. […] It is also to fully understand what they promise us for our territory, what they are going to do for Estrie, what they are going to do for Memphrémagog, explains- he.

It's completely legal, it's written, it's the way to do it, but what I understand, is that there are mayors who consider that to meet ministers, they must pay. I don't agree with that in any way. […] I think that in this context, it is not correct. But knowing that they are coming to give a speech, then that you are going to be in the room to attend it, I don’t see a problem, he adds.

However, he does not oppose the possibility of reopening the electoral law to stop private financing.

With information from the Canadian Press

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