Jacques Demers, president of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM). (Archive photo)
You do not obtain a privilege by contributing or participating in a fundraising activity, insisted Mr. Damphousse .
On the other hand, are there a lot of [municipal] elected officials who take advantage of it [by going to fundraising cocktails] to make themselves known and advance issues that are important to them? #x27;is perfect for them, there is no risk in that, he nevertheless added.
The minister Bernard Drainville admitted last week that municipal elected officials discussed their files with him during fundraising activities, while the general director of the CAQ rather affirmed that the exchanges between the minister and the mayors were of the order of brief conversation, sprinkling.
Mr. Demers believes that municipal elected officials take part in their MP's fundraising activities because they want to know what the government is going to do for their municipality.
The presidents of the UMQ and the FQM both contributed to the CAQ.
They are the ones who, as representatives of all of Quebec's municipalities, negotiated the very last fiscal pact signed last fall with the CAQ government.
Will this undermine their independence or the appearance of impartiality?
In my opinion, not at all, replied Mr. Damphousse. It would be incredible if it were, Mr. Demers also replied.
The president of the UMQ says he does not consider himself a CAQ activist. He wanted to contribute to the campaign of the CAQ candidate and today Minister of Families, Suzanne Roy, who was his predecessor at the head of the UMQ.
She is my MP, my colleague and my personal friend. This is not linked to future meetings with ministers. This has nothing to do with it.
A quote from Martin Damphousse, president of the UMQ
No, I do not consider myself a CAQ activist, replied Jacques for his part Demers saying he had already contributed to the PQ and the PLQ when they were in power.
I like it to hear what these parties are going to do for our county. There is no obligation for anyone to take out a membership card, which I don't do, anyway.
Mr. Damphousse contributed $200 to Ms. Roy's campaign in 2022, an election year in which a citizen was entitled to contribute an additional $100 to the allowed annual maximum of $100. He repeated by contributing $100 in 2023.
Mr. Demers, for his part, paid $100 to the CAQ fund in 2023, but in 2019 and 2017, he gave $100 to the Liberal Party (PLQ).
Monday, The Canadian Press revealed that 503 Quebec mayors and prefects out of 1,138 had contributed to the CAQ's electoral fund since the last municipal elections of 2021, for a total by almost $100,000.
In messages obtained by The Canadian Press, CAQ MPs invited municipal officials to cocktails, offering to meet a minister in exchange for a $100 contribution.
The opposition parties accuse the CAQ of having set up a financing scheme that targets municipal elected officials, which the CAQ have denied.
Two CAQ deputies, Sylvain Lévesque and Louis-Charles Thouin, are the target of an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly, Ariane Mignolet. Québec solidaire also asked her to investigate two other CAQ elected officials, Gilles Bélanger and Yves Montigny, but she deemed the request inadmissible.
Prime Minister François Legault announced this week that the CAQ will renounce receiving private donations, and is asking other parties to do the same. (File photo)
Mr. Legault considered that the opposition's attacks called into question his integrity. Upset by the revelations, he announced Thursday that his party would renounce individual contributions from citizens and invited his opponents from other parties to do the same, which they refused.
The head of government even raised the possibility of changing the law in this direction, while admitting that it would take the support of oppositions to change legislative provisions that affect democratic rules.
Municipal elected officials have the right to contribute to the financing of parties, like any citizen.