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The CAQ will reimburse the Bittar-Rivera

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Geneviève Guilbault, who remained impassive during the testimony of Mr. Bittar and Ms. Rivera on Thursday, defended herself after the session by assuring that it was not “at all” a case where it was necessary to “pay to meet [her]. (Archive photo)

  • Jérôme Labbé (View profile)Jérôme Labbé

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The couple of bereaved parents who were invited to a fundraising cocktail of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) to be able to meet the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, and raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving say they were reimbursed .

In an interview on 24•60, Friday evening, with her partner Antoine Bittar, Elizabeth Rivera affirmed that the couple had already received this reimbursement, even if he did not want it after his testimony the day before, which caused a stir in Quebec.

I didn't want to be reimbursed, I asked that we give the money to a charity, Ms. Rivera told host Anne -Marie Dussault.

Earlier Friday, the general director of the CAQ, Brigitte Legault, indicated that the training had contacted Mr. Bittar and Ms. Rivera, and that they had accepted [the] reimbursement proposal.

The party will reimburse them directly, she explained, specifying that they would then be free to make a personal donation to the organization. their choice if that is their wish.

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The CAQ ended its popular funding last week, recalled Ms. Legault Friday, to prevent cases like this from tainting our integrity.

We are sorry for this turn of events.

A quote from Brigitte Legault, general director of the CAQ

The Bittar-Rivera couple created a commotion on Thursday by declaring in parliamentary committee that the office of the CAQ MP for Soulanges, Marilyne Picard, advised them, to advance their cause, to participate on October 12 in a $100 cocktail where Geneviève Guilbault would be present.

We met the minister, Ms. Rivera said on Thursday. And honestly, when I left the place, I was really disappointed. I found it unacceptable that we were asked to pay $200 to meet the minister.

In a publication on the Facebook network, Ms. Picard apologized to the couple for the error of judgment made by one of her collaborators. Minister Guilbault, for her part, said she was sorry, while accusing the opposition parties of political exploitation.

This situation being unusual, Élections Québec indicated Friday afternoon that it was analyzing the situation to ensure that the CAQ could effectively reimburse the couple without violating the Election Act.

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Antoine Bittar and Elizabeth Rivera had indicated that they would pay the sum to MADD Montreal, the organization of which they are members and which campaigns for the alcohol level permitted in the blood of motorists to be lowered by 0.08 % to 0.05%.

My goal yesterday was not to create a bomb, assured Ms. Rivera to the ;Montreal show All a morning, Friday, adding that his only concern was to convince the government of the merits of his cause.

The Bittar-Rivera couple lost a daughter, Jessica Sarli-Rivera, in a road accident involving a drunk driver, in March 2007. Since then, they have campaigned for Quebec legislation on drunk driving to be tightened.

The Québec Solidaire (QS) party, which in recent weeks has filed four complaints with the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly concerning CAQ financing cocktails, two of which were received favorably, said on Friday that he did not intend to request an investigation this time.

The information on the case brought to light yesterday is public and we assess that the Ethics Commissioner has everything she needs in her hands to investigate the MP for Soulanges, the party said in a statement. written submission to the media on Friday.

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Friday morning, in a press scrum, the solidarity MP asked Minister Guilbault to apologize to the Bittar-Rivera couple. x27;opposition, the financing practices of the CAQ have been at the heart of the news since the resumption of parliamentary work.

The controversy stems mainly from reports published by Radio-Canada and La Presse canadienne, according to which MPs invited constituents to participate in $100 cocktails in order to meet ministers of the Legault government and advance their issues.

The Canadian Press has notably learned that nearly half of the mayors, i.e. 503 out of 1,138, have contributed to the financing of the CAQ since the 2021 municipal elections, to a total of nearly $100,000.

With information from Alexandre Duval

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