Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Des questions on the financing activities of a CAQ

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CAQ MP Louis-Charles Thouin launched an invitation to the mayors of his constituency for a fundraising cocktail scheduled for February 8. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

Another CAQ MP offers access to a minister in exchange for a donation to the party. After the case of the member for Chauveau, Sylvain Lévesque, who is currently the subject of an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner, it is the turn of his colleague from Rousseau, Louis-Charles Thouin. /p>

This is what reveals a series of exchanges obtained from reliable sources by The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

Mr. Thouin approached the 10 mayors of the MRC of Montcalm, in Lanaudière, so that they would contribute to the fund of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), in exchange for a meeting with the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault .

However, Élections Québec stipulates that a contribution to a party must be made without compensation or consideration.

The CAQ, however, assures that it has no privileged access, but refused to grant us an interview.

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Mr. Thouin thus extended an invitation to the mayors of his constituency for a fundraising cocktail scheduled for February 8.

If elected officials pay $100, they will be able to exchange with Ms. Guilbault, we can read in the message.

In his message, the CAQ MP specifies: Each MP must, each year, raise funds for the next elections, however this year I have decided to offer you a new formula.

He says that he wants to combine business with pleasure by inviting elected officials to a private cocktail at a cost of $100, 5 to 7 formula, in Saint-Jacques, in the presence of the Minister of Transport.

Geneviève and I will be delighted to welcome you and to be able to discuss with you on various subjects that concern you, including road and public transport issues, we read.

Note that the Ministry of Transport and its minister are constantly in interaction with municipalities on key issues of financing road infrastructure, public transport, road maintenance, new sections, security, etc.

Meeting the minister can thus allow a municipal elected official to move a file forward, but an elected official who requests a meeting with a minister should not have to pay for get his meeting.

The Canadian Press requested an interview with Mr. Thouin through his constituency office, without success. The party also declined our interview request.

Questions were, however, sent to the spokesperson for the parliamentary group, Marc Danis, as to why the party was asking municipal elected officials to contribute to its fund and if this would not did not amount to influence peddling.

There is no privileged access, wrote Mr. Danis in a text message.

Mr. Thouin invited elected officials as a courtesy, he continued. The decision to participate in a fundraising activity is up to each person. Our ministers met more than 1,000 municipal elected officials during formal meetings in 2023. They are available.

Remember that this is not the first once such a financing approach undertaken by the CAQ is brought to light.

Last week, Radio-Canada revealed that a citizen who wanted her MP, Sylvain Lévesque, to move forward with her file was offered to meet the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, in exchange for a request. a contribution of $100 to the party fund.

The Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly, Ariane Mignolet, announced Monday that she was undertaking an investigation into the case of Sylvain Lévesque.

The CAQ gives the appearance of monetizing access to its ministers, said solidarity MP Vincent Marissal in an interview with Radio-Canada.

A former investigator of the Charbonneau commission, André Noël, also spoke out against CAQ financing practices.

According to him, this violated the spirit of the law on the financing of political parties in that access to ministers was paid for.

In Quebec, financial contributions to political parties are governed by the law on the financing of political parties.

Élections Québec stipulates that the The donor must certify that his contribution was made from his own property, voluntarily, without compensation or consideration, and that it has not been nor will be the subject of any reimbursement.

Mr. Noël doubts that it is voluntary if we do it in exchange for a meeting with a minister.

Mr. Lévesque will not be excluded from the Caucus caucus in the meantime and he also retains his position as vice-president of the National Assembly.

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