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PSPP would ban its ministers from participating in fundraising cocktails

Photo: Karoline Boucher The Canadian Press “I am committed to it, a Parti Québécois government will prohibit ministers from going to the financing cocktail, period,” declared Monday Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, seen here on January 17 in Alma. Because at that moment, we cannot imagine advancing our file with the minister.”

To avoid any appearance of influence peddling, a Parti Québécois (PQ) government would prohibit its ministers from participating in fundraising cocktails, leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon announced Wednesday.

Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, along with the other opposition parties, denounced the financing practices of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), which resulted in two of its deputies being recently the target of a investigation by the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly.

According to the PQ leader, the use of ministers to lure donors creates an appearance of conflict of interest which harms the population's confidence in elected officials.

“I am committed to it, a Parti Québécois government will prohibit ministers from participating in the financing cocktail, period,” he declared in a press briefing. Because at that moment, we cannot imagine advancing our file with the minister. »

The Electoral Act does not prohibit ministers from participating in fundraising cocktails. The PQ would, however, voluntarily impose the constraint of not seeking funding for events where ministers are invited.

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CAQ MPs Sylvain Lévesque and Louis-Charles Thouin are each the subject of an investigation by Commissioner Ariane Mignolet in relation to invitations made for fundraising cocktails where ministers are present.

Tuesday, the day parliamentary work resumed, Québec solidaire (QS) and the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) also criticized CAQ practices, but only the PQ put forward a new voluntary standard.

Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon put forward the report of the Charbonneau commission and urged the CAQ government to adopt all of its recommendations.

The PQ leader referred to an extract from the report which proposes prohibiting ministers and their office staff from soliciting political contributions from suppliers and recipients of financial assistance from their ministry.

The leader, however, announced that the PQ government would go further than the recommendation of the Charbonneau commission.

“There will not be a minister and there will be no possibility of pretending that, if you give your $100, finally, you will be able to advance the file which has not moved forward for months, a- he said. Because, in the case of the CAQ, it coincides with the unavailability of ministers and elected officials. »

Ethical scandals

The parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, noted that the start of the parliamentary term is marked by the “ethical scandals” in which the government is entangled.

Mr. Nadeau-Dubois asked Prime Minister François Legault to dispel the appearance of systemic use of ministers to collect donations for the CAQ.

“If he wants to close the file, let him tell us: these are isolated cases, there is no directive to this effect at the CAQ, and you will not find other cases of deputies who have solicited regional actors to meet with a minister in exchange for a political contribution,” he said.

Liberal parliamentary leader Monsef Derraji denounced the appearance of privileged access generated by the invitations formulated by Mr. Thouin.

“That’s the problem,” he said. It’s a problem of perception, and that’s the ethical issue. »

The Liberals will wait for Ms. Mignolet's conclusions before commenting further on whether or not it is necessary to tighten political financing rules.

More details will follow.

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