Photo: Archives Élections Québec Last week, CAQ MP Louis-Charles Thouin, seen here in 2018, sent mayors by text message an invitation to “combine business with pleasure” during a fundraising activity for the benefit of the CAQ in Montcalm where the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, would be present.
Alexandre Robillard in Sherbrooke
January 24, 2024
Québec solidaire (QS) is calling for an ethics investigation to shed light on the financial solicitations of CAQ MP Louis-Charles Thouin from mayors in his constituency, to whom he offered a meeting with a minister in return for a $100 donation to his electoral fund.
In his request sent Wednesday to the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly, Ariane Mignolet, solidarity deputy Vincent Marissal refers to several articles of the code which governs elected officials.
According to Mr. Marissal, Mr. Thouin, deputy for Rousseau, placed himself in several respects in a situation of apparent conflict of interest by using “financing stratagems”. “These actions seem to us to be in contravention of several articles of our code,” he wrote.
By accepting donations from mayors, Mr. Thouin would find himself in particular “in a position of obvious accountability placing him in a situation where his personal interest could influence his independence of judgment in the exercise of his office,” underlines the QS deputy.
- A vice-president of the National Assembly defends his neutrality
- A CAQ deputy asks mayors for the party fund
- Rousseau MP Louis-Charles Thouin withdraws from CAQ caucus
Last week, Louis-Charles Thouin sent mayors by text message an invitation to “combine business with pleasure” during a fundraising activity for the benefit of the CAQ in Montcalm where the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, would be present.
The CAQ parliamentary wing affirmed the Devoirthat Mr. Thouin had transmitted this invitation, first revealed by The Canadian Press, from his personal telephone.
The Director General of Elections of Quebec indicated this week that the Election Act does not provide for any specific rule to govern the solicitation of contributions from municipal elected officials by a deputy.
Wednesday morning, at the opening of the CAQ caucus in Sherbrooke, the president of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, claimed to follow the rules and refrained from commenting on the allegations against Mr. Thouin . “There are organizations responsible for investigating or monitoring all of this. We will let them express themselves if necessary, and if there are adjustments, we will make them,” she told reporters.
Former prosecutor of the Charbonneau commission, Ms. LeBel affirmed that the current situation was not comparable to what was exposed during her work on political financing and the construction sector.< /p>
“We are here in a completely different context from what we experienced in the Charbonneau commission, I am well placed to say that. No one is forced to make contributions, no one is forced to accept, there are rules, we follow them,” she said.
A vice-president of the National Assembly and CAQ member, Sylvain Lévesque, is also the target of an investigation, opened last week by Ms. Mignolet, concerning an invitation to a fundraising cocktail.< /p>
In Thetford Mines, where the Liberals are gathered in caucus, MP Monsef Derraji judged that there is reason to investigate the situation involving Mr. Thouin. “I invite the CAQ members to follow the rules, especially when it comes to ethics and lobbying,” he said. I don't think that in Quebec, now, a mayor should be forced to pay $100 for a cocktail to meet a minister. »
Mr. Thouin, present at the caucus with his colleagues, remained at a good distance from journalists on Wednesday.
With Marie-Michèle Sioui