Chemin Roxham: a new “sponsorship scandal”, according to St-Pierre Plamondon | Elections Quebec 2022

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Roxham Road: a new “sponsorship scandal”, according to St-Pierre Plamondon | ÉQuebec 2022 elections

The leader of the Conservative Party, Éric Duhaime, does not rule out the construction of a wall at the border.

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon was a lawyer during the sponsorship scandal in the middle of the previous decade.

Radio-Canada's revelations that the federal government has already spent more than half a billion dollars on infrastructure to welcome migrants to Roxham Road, in addition to awarding multi-year contracts without an appeal #x27; offers, made members of the political class jump. Starting with the leaders in the election campaign in Quebec.

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who has made the tight management of immigration an important aspect of his campaign, believes that these investments are a deliberate decision by the federal government to reopen the way and to institutionalize a process which is problematic in several respects.

And there, what we learn is that it is also potentially linked to Liberal Party donors, he added in a scrum, in connection with reports that a part of the money invested had been paid to someone close to the ruling party. The PLC refuses to give the information, but clearly there are no tender contracts being given.

Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon has established a link between the present situation and a significant episode in Canadian political history. For me, who worked as a lawyer in the lawsuits resulting from the sponsorship scandal, it looks like the start of the sponsorship scandal, he blurted.

“You will remember [that] it was people close to the Liberal Party who lined their pockets with contracts that, essentially, were aimed at destabilizing Quebec.

—Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois

For the record, sponsorships are an illegal funding program set up following the 1995 referendum by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien, which diverted public funds to finance public relations operations in order to discredit the idea of sovereignty of Quebec.

The leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Dominique Anglade, was also questioned on the subject of Roxham Road during a campaign event, but she was stingy with comments.

Without commenting on the substantive issue, she called for better collaboration between levels of government. It is important that the federal government come to support [the province], because we know that it is Quebec that supports these people, she said.

During a press briefing in the Quebec region, Éric Duhaime, like his PQ opponent, called on the federal government to close Roxham Road.

But he was also asked about comments he made in 2017 on his Facebook page, where he said he thought the country should have a wall on its border with the United States. United to stop the arrival of unregistered migrants.

At the time, he even wrote that he had contacted a contractor […] to estimate the costs. He had then requested an estimate for a foot of barbed wire, but also for a more resistant fence, of the type taken or polar bear cage at the zoo.

“Cost to start with a hundred kilometers in the Lacolle area = $10 million. It seems to me to be a reasonable investment to close the gaps in our sieve borders in the short term. »

— Éric Duhaime, on his Facebook page, in 2017

What do you think?, he then asked his subscribers.

Five years later, now leader of a party in the electoral campaign, Mr. Duhaime has not denied his remarks. We must close the tap, we must close the border one way or another, he hammered in front of journalists, judging that the idea of ​​​​a wall was a way to get there, but there are plenty of others.

The leader of the PCQ, Éric Duhaime, surrounded by candidates from the Quebec region.

He reached out to his political opponents to unite before the federal government. We are practically all in agreement that Quebec must be in charge of immigration and have full powers, he said. We have to stop that, we have to go to Ottawa to put pressure on the federal government, on Justin Trudeau.

The idea of ​​a wall on the border between Canada and the United States to prevent illegal immigration echoes the project of former US President Donald Trump, who had made construction of such a wall between the United States and Mexico a priority in his mandate.

Éric Duhaime was indignant, during the current campaign, that the Outgoing Prime Minister François Legault compares him to Mr. Trump.

The debate has also moved to the federal scene. During question period in the Commons on Tuesday, the Bloc Québécois took Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to task over this issue.

The federal has signed contracts until at least 2027. Hotels, land, trailer rentals, lark! exclaimed Bloc Québécois Alain Therrien. That's why they're not suspending the Safe Third Country Agreement [and] why they're not cracking down on criminal smugglers. They want it to last.

Bloc Québécois MP Alain Therrien hounded Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on the federal management of the Roxham Road.

The Bloc Québécois has been asking since 2019 for the suspension of this agreement signed between Canada and the United States, which provides that migrants must file their asylum application in the first country they cross. However, the agreement only provides for entry through official border crossings. Under this loophole, migrants traveling through an irregular route, such as Roxham Road, can apply for asylum in Canada, even if they pass through the United States first.

“I'll tell you who benefits from making Roxham Road permanent.” It benefits criminal smugglers who traffic people. It benefits bandits who see desperation in families and say to themselves, “There might be some money to be made out of this.” It benefits Liberal donors who receive lots of contracts from that government. They all died laughing. »

— Alain Therrien, MP for La Prairie for the Bloc Québécois

Chrystia Freeland promised that her government would continue to negotiate with the American government to renegotiate the Agreement on safe third countries. We are working closely with relevant stakeholders on the situation at our border and we are working with our American counterparts on issues related to our shared border, including the Safe Third Country Agreement, she replied. to his Bloc counterpart.

I want to say to our colleagues, the Bloc members, that we must work together on immigration, because it's is an economic issue for Quebec and for all of Canada, added Ms. Freeland.

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