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The CAQ reimburses the bereaved couple, who hope the controversy will not harm their cause

Photo: Jacques Boissinot La Presse canadienne Antoine Bittar et Elizabeth Rivera avaient dû verser 200$ pour rencontrer la ministre Geneviève Guilbault.

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) offered Friday to reimburse a controversial $200 political contribution to a couple who remain hopeful of obtaining stricter rules against drunk driving. Her daughter was the victim of a car accident that involved an impaired driver.

The case of Antoine Bittar and Elizabeth Rivera caused an outcry this week in the National Assembly, where they recounted their participation in a fundraising cocktail attended by the Minister of Transport , Geneviève Guilbault.

Mr. Bittar confirmed Friday that they had been contacted by the CAQ, who offered them a refund of the two $100 contributions they made to participate in the event last October. The general director of the CAQ, Brigitte Legault, then indicated that the couple had accepted the reimbursement.

Faced with the controversy, Mr. Bittar expressed fear that the situation would compromise the demand for tightening of the rules for which he and Ms. Rivera are campaigning.

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“We always have fears, but following the commission and everything, I hope that Ms. Guilbault and the government understand that our battle is not a political battle,” he said. declared in an interview with Devoir. This is a battle to save lives, and I hope the opening is there. »


Mr. Bittar once again asked the government to lower the tolerance threshold for drunk driving to 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, which is currently 80 mg. He would like administrative sanctions to be imposed for one week, namely the suspension of the driver's license and the surrender of the vehicle of the offenders, before the application of the sanctions currently provided for by the Criminal Code from 80 mg.

Mr. Bittar was encouraged by noting on Friday an increase in the number of signatories to a petition on this subject present on the National Assembly website. He estimates that around a hundred names have been added since Thursday. At the time these lines were written, the bar of 700 signatures had been exceeded.

The Liberal Party of Quebec has committed to proposing an amendment that will bear the name Jessica, in memory of the daughter of the Bittar-Rivera couple. The two parents demanded this change in a parliamentary committee on Thursday, where their participation in a cocktail party attended by Ms. Guilbault attracted attention.

The minister said Thursday that lowering the penalty threshold for drunk driving was not one of the elements of her bill.

“Honestly, I don’t see any opening,” Mr. Bittar lamented on Friday.

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