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Mayors have donated nearly $100,000 to the CAQ since 2021

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In total, nearly half of the mayors and prefects have contributed to financing the CAQ since the 2021 municipal elections.

The Canadian Press

Quebec mayors donated nearly $100,000 to the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) electoral fund between 2021 and 2023.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This is what a compilation obtained by The Canadian Press from a reliable source reveals, while the CAQ is mired in controversies over its financing methods.

In total, nearly half of Quebec's mayors and prefects, or 503 out of 1,138, have contributed to financing the CAQ since the last municipal elections in 2021.

In 2021, they paid $20,535 into the CAQ kitty, $40,155 in 2022 and $38,190 in 2023, so a total of $98,880. The compilation does not include donations from thousands of municipal councilors.

For comparison, the CAQ collected nearly $779,000 in individual donations in 2021, and $1.35 million in 2022, an election year where citizens are allowed to contribute an additional $100 on top of the maximum allowable donation per year of $100.

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The donation most frequently given by mayors is $100, the maximum authorized per year.

The Canadian Press validated by random sampling the data collected by carrying out research on donors on the Élections Québec website.

The week last year, François Legault assured that his party was not particularly targeting municipal elected officials in its financing strategies.

The Canadian Press, however, revealed last Tuesday that the CAQ MP Louis-Charles Thouin invited around ten mayors from his constituency of Rousseau to a cocktail to fill the electoral fund with $100, in exchange for which the elected officials could meet the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, on February 8 in Saint-Jacques, in Lanaudière.

Mr. Legault suggested that his party would revise its messages, but repeated that mayors did not have to pay the CAQ to meet a minister.

The case is closed, he decided in a press conference following a two-day meeting of his caucus in Sherbrooke, last Thursday.

MP Vincent Marissal, from Québec solidaire, asked the ethics commissioner to investigate Mr. Thouin, citing a CAQ financing scheme, which could dangle an interview with one or another minister in exchange for a $100 donation. According to the QS MP, this contravenes several articles of the code of ethics. The request is being processed.

In a Radio-Canada report broadcast in December, mayors of Abitibi expressed their discomfort and said they felt obliged to contribute to the CAQ to meet a minister and thus advance their issues.

The electoral law stipulates that the donor to a political party must certify that his contribution is made from his own property, voluntarily, without compensation or consideration, and that&#x27 ;she has not been nor will be the subject of any refund.

Two weeks ago, Radio -Canada had revealed another controversy over the financing of the CAQ which affected the member for Chauveau, Sylvain Lévesque.

A citizen who wanted her member to do advance his file was offered to meet the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, in exchange for a contribution of $100 to the party fund.

The Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly announced last week that she was undertaking an investigation into the case of Mr. Lévesque.

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