Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

The CAQ renounces popular funding

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Prime Minister François Legault announces that the CAQ will renounce receiving private donations and asks other parties to do the same.

  • Jérôme Labbé (View profile)Jérôme Labbé

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Singled for leaving hearing from voters that it would be possible for them to advance their issues by participating in $100 cocktails, the ruling Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) is drawing a line under popular financing, including political donations .

We will give up a lot of money, but we will manage with the part of the financing that is public, announced CAQ leader and Prime Minister François on Thursday Legault, who took the opportunity to ask the opposition parties to do the same thing.

His decision was taken following a caucus meeting on Wednesday evening, he explained at a press briefing, stressing that the deputies targeted by the articles in recent weeks did not find it funny. .

He doesn't either, by the way.

< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">My integrity, the integrity of our deputies, of our government, of our party, is what is most important . It's priceless.

A quote from François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec and Prime Minister

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On Wednesday, the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Jean-François Roberge, said he was “open” to putting an end to popular financing of political parties, provided that the three opposition parties represented in the Assembly national team agree.

However, neither the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), nor Québec solidaire (QS), nor the Parti québécois (PQ) does not propose such a thing. PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, for example, suggests instead banning ministers from participating in fundraising cocktails.

If they don't want to change the law, I will change it, François Legault replied Thursday, in English, suggesting that in the end, the necessary approval of the opposition parties mentioned the day before by Minister Roberge would perhaps not be essential for a revision of the Electoral Act.

Mr. Legault also mentioned having asked the latter to get in touch with other political parties to try to find solutions to this problem, which is bad, according to him, for the entire political class.

Our Mordus comment on the CAQ's decision to turn its back on popular funding.

The current debate stems from allegations reported by Radio-Canada and The Canadian Press on the subject of CAQ deputies Sylvain Lévesque and Louis-Charles Thouin, who are currently the subject of two investigations by the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly, Ariane Mignolet .

It also received two complaints from QS regarding allegations targeting deputies Yves Montigny (René-Lévesque) and Gilles Bélanger (Orford), who defended himself in writing on Wednesday, ensuring that he was still available for municipal elected officials.

According to The Canadian Press, almost half of Quebec mayors have contributed to financing the CAQ since 2021. In December, a report from Radio-Canada also told us that some of them felt obliged to contribute to the party fund to meet a minister.

In the context, the tension has been palpable in Parliament since the resumption of work on Tuesday. There is no one who is going to question the integrity of the CAQ, neither anyone nor you!, launched the CAQ MP for Vimont, Valérie Schmaltz, on Thursday, towards parliamentary journalists. /p>

François Legault himself got carried away at a press briefing on Thursday. I make decisions that aren't always well received, but one thing I can't accept is that some people question my integrity, dammit. >"), he said, in English.

Unsurprisingly, the solution advocated by Mr. Legault to the ethical issues debated these days in the National Assembly did not please the opposition.

It makes no sense, argued Paul St-Pierre Plamondon late this morning. All we are asking of the CAQ is to stop offering compensation for donations. It's simple. That's it, the rules!

François Legault is doing exactly what Quebecers are tired of him doing, that is to say he is making erratic, improvised decisions, deplored for his part the parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

It's a gesture of panic, it's x27;is clear. Mr. Legault is painted into a corner, he is criticized from all sides, and there, he is looking for a way to create a diversion.

A quote from Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire

The PLQ was also resistant to the Prime Minister's proposal. Popular financing is very important for democracy, argued MP Monsef Derraji. In the Liberal Party, we will continue to respect the law. I invite Mr. Legault to respect the law and to ask his ministers to respect it.

Since the reform instituted by the government of Pauline Marois in 2013, individual contributions only represent a fraction of party income. Their funding today comes more from state allocations and results from votes received in general elections.

The CAQ, for example, collected $1.35 million in contributions in 2022, while it received nearly $6.4 million in public funding. The PQ, which suspects the Legault government of wanting to change the law to harm it, for its part received 1.5 million in contributions in 2022, compared to 2.8 million in allocations.

Expected later this year, the parties' next financial reports will report the amounts raised for 2023, but as of February 1, it was the CAQ which had collected the most contributions, approximately $828,000, compared to 793 000 $ for the PQ, $297,000 for QS and $281,000 for the PLQ.

The Electoral Act limits the annual contribution of each party to $100 elector. However, the law provides that another $100 can be added in the event of a general election, which explains why parties raised more money in 2022.

A contribution is a monetary donation, a service rendered or a good provided free of charge by a voter from his or her own property, explains Élections Québec on its website, specifying that legal entities (companies, unions, etc.) cannot make contributions.

If it was clear on Thursday that the CAQ now intended to deprive itself of these contributions, its CEO, Brigitte Legault, then clarified to Radio-Canada that the membership fees billed to members would be maintained, just as the price of entry to the political activities of the party, which are not considered by law as contributions.

Going from Before with his decision, Mr. Legault also risks depriving his party of important “matching income”, amounts allocated by Élections Québec based on contributions received by authorized political parties. These payments, in 2022, allowed the CAQ to collect $500,000.

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