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Legault castigates QS and its allegations regarding political financing

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Prime Minister François Legault during a press conference at the beginning of February

Prime Minister François Legault deemed unacceptable, Tuesday, that Québec solidaire (QS) suggests that the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) systematically uses the presence of its ministers in order to collect donations from voters during fundraising cocktails.

At the National Assembly, a third consecutive week began on the theme of political financing, while an employee of Mr. Legault and a minister had to apologize to members of the opposition following excesses linked to controversies aroused by the practices of the CAQ.

Questioned by QS in the Chamber, Mr. Legault affirmed that there is no directive aimed at boosting CAQ financing activities with the presence of ministers from his government.

Mr. Legault was referring to the most recent controversy involving a grieving couple invited to meet Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault at a fundraising cocktail to present a request for tightening rules on drunk driving.

“Is there staff, as in the case mentioned, who, following an error of judgment, solicited donations by saying: well, a minister will be there ? It's happened, then it shouldn’t have happened,” the Prime Minister said at Salon Bleu.

Mr. Legault spoke out against the insistence of QS, whose deputy Vincent Marissal filed four requests for ethical investigations against the financing practices of CAQ deputies.

“There have never been instructions to encourage people to come to cocktails because there are ministers,” said the Prime Minister. I find it deplorable, what the member for Rosemont did, because there are real people who are being questioned by their parents, by their children, following the questions from the member for Rosemont which are unfounded. »

Mr. Legault was referring to the fact that two of Mr. Marissal's four requests for investigation were deemed unfounded by the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly, Ariane Mignolet.


Mr. Marissal, for his part, complained on Tuesday of having been called a “national mud thrower” by Mr. Legault last week in a corridor of parliament.

“When I enter the Blue Room, I don’t expect to be insulted by the Prime Minister,” he said in a press briefing before question period. I asked questions, I know I'm annoying them, if anything I would tell you that I'm doing my job. »

Mr. Marissal ignited the powder last Friday by publicizing Mr. Legault's comments about him. The MP was then taken to task by the Prime Minister's media relations director, Manuel Dionne, who also apologized on Tuesday morning for his comments.

“Too often, I witness unjustified attacks on the integrity of our elected officials,” Mr. Dionne wrote on X. “They leave painful marks on them and their families. Angered by these attacks, I made the same mistake. I would therefore like to apologize to Mr. Marissal. »

On Monday, Mr. Marissal did not rule out legal action for defamation against Mr. Dionne because of his comments about his career as a journalist.

In a publication on social media on Friday, Mr. Dionne also referred to an episode where Mr. Marissal had contradicted himself regarding his exchanges with the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) before being candidate for QS in 2018.

“Vincent Marissal, the guy who entered politics on a lie. The one who, “according to my sources”, cut corners quite a bit when he was a journalist,” he wrote before deleting his publication.

Other excuses

Tuesday morning ended with a second round of apologies from the government when Deputy Minister Geneviève Guilbault addressed PQ MP Pascal Bérubé via social networks.

“I should have been more precise and simply recalled that the Ethics Commissioner is currently conducting an investigation into the member for Matane-Matapédia in relation to section 36 of the Code regarding the use state goods and services. My apologies to Pascal Bérubé,” she wrote.

In a press briefing where she explained the invitation to the bereaved couple last Thursday, Ms. Guilbault recalled that Mr. Bérubé was also the subject of an ethics investigation.

“He used his National Assembly email for questionable events,” she said.

On Tuesday, the PQ leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, added his voice to that of Mr. Bérubé to demand an apology from the minister.

“It’s defamatory in the sense that it’s not true and it aims to undermine the reputation of Pascal Bérubé,” he said.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116