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The opposition calls for more transparency on an increase of 10 million in the National Assembly

Photo: Jacques Boissinot Archives The Canadian Press The increase of 10 million should cover part of the major renovation work on the Blue Room of the National Assembly.

The opposition demanded on Tuesday more transparency in the financial administration of the National Assembly, including the publication of the costs of “several millions” which will be used to renovate the Blue Room.

The Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), the Parti Québécois (PQ) and the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) affirmed that the institution will have to answer questions concerning an unforeseen increase of 10 million in its budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024 which ends at the end of March.

The interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay, affirmed that his parliamentary group will decide after its representatives received information during a meeting on Thursday of the Office of the National Assembly (BAN), the equivalent of the institution's board of directors.

Mr. Tanguay was confident that this increase is in no way comparable to the controversial funding of 5 to 7 million granted to welcome the Los Angeles Kings to Quebec next fall.

“The Kings, it was in no way justified,” he said at a press briefing. If the National Assembly justifies the costs to the BAN, we will move forward. We have representatives at the BAN, and there will be questions asked on this. »

According to Mr. Tanguay, “several million” of the budget will have to be devoted to renovation work on the Salon bleu.

“We will have questions about that, and the National Assembly will have to justify its budget,” he said. And we are going to plead for more transparency. »

Salary of deputies

In October, BAN deputies voted for an initial increase of nearly $4.4 million in the planned budget, which then went from $185.6 million to $189.9 million, after an increase of 30% of the remuneration of elected officials which increased from $101,561 to $131,766.

Treasury Board documents tabled two weeks ago, however, show that the budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is now estimated at $194.9 million. No explanation was given by the National Assembly on this variation.

This increase, which totals 10 million in one year, comes as the government has just tabled a deficit budget of 11 billion for the year which begins, noted the leader of the PCQ Éric Duhaime, whose party, which has no elected representatives, is not represented on the BAN.

“It’s completely abnormal,” he said. We have just been presented with the budget and two weeks later, we learned that the National Assembly, retroactively, will add 10 million to its budget. »

For Mr. Duhaime, the National Assembly will have to explain the details of this increase in its budget in the current context.

“The first thing to do is to be transparent,” he said.

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon explained that his party is also in the unknown on this subject given that none of his deputies are members of the BAN.

“There’s nothing that should be private,” he said. We have experienced episodes in recent years where there was a lack of transparency. I am of the opinion that the Assembly, which is nevertheless an institution that must be exemplary, must give more. »

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