Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Joëlle Boutin proposed « access ;s privileged to Pierre Fitzgibbon in 2020

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Joëlle Boutin left politics, without ruling out a possible return, in August 2023. (archive photo)

The Canadian Press

The former CAQ MP for Jean-Talon, Joëlle Boutin, has already promised “privileged access” to Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon to business people and entrepreneurs in 2020.

You will have the opportunity to have privileged access to the minister and to discuss your concerns and economic recovery directly with him, we can read in a screenshot obtained by The Canadian Press. This is an invitation written by the former MP in November 2020 on the Facebook group “Business Networking and Quebec Events”.

As the event was during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was held virtually. Once registered, I will send you a link with a document where you can also submit your questions, concerns and suggestions, which I can submit directly to them in advance. Your opinion matters to him! she continues.

At the end of the message, the former elected official from Quebec specifies that people who have already made their maximum contribution for the x27;current financial year will be able to attend free of charge.

The electoral law provides that each citizen can contribute a maximum of $100 to a political party, but they cannot do so to obtain a counterpart.

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Élections Québec has already expressed fears regarding potential exchanges of favors or conflicts of interest. The presence of a minister at a fundraising activity, however, raises the risk that an exchange occurring within the framework of the activity could result in a decision having the appearance of constituting an advantage provided in exchange for x27;a contribution, wrote the spokesperson for Élections Québec in his message to La Presse Canadienne.

Participation in a fundraising activity does not in itself constitute a problem, he clarified, but the question therefore touches on the issue of the integrity of political financing if, as a result of a fundraising activity, a minister made a decision that would constitute, in an apparent or real way, a benefit provided in exchange for a contribution.

Interviewed by The Canadian PressOn Thursday, the former elected official recognized clumsy wording for the terms privileged access. It was inappropriate, she said.

I've always been great 'by the book'& #x27;, adds Ms. Boutin.

She admits that inviting a minister to a fundraising event attracts more people. But there is never any quid pro quo, she assures us.

The format was a kind of webinar where Pierre Fitzgibbon spoke about the economic recovery following the pandemic and people were asking questions, she said, adding that it was not lobbying.

According to her, the financing of political parties creates unease among both elected officials and the population. I can't say it was my favorite part. Ask people for money, no matter who it was.

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