CAQ files complaint over alleged PQ misspending
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, January 15, 2017 1:23PM EST
The Coalition Avenir Quebec filed a formal complaint with Quebec’s Chief Electoral Officer on Sunday, complaining about alleged misappropriation of public funds by the Parti Quebecois.
On Friday, the CAQ, Liberals and Quebec Solidaire joined forces to condemn the PQ for paying staffers who engaged in partisan activities out of a National Assembly budget, rather than out of party coffers.
The Journal de Quebec reported that five employees of party whip Carole Poirier were not working out of the party’s Montreal headquarters on party campaigns, rather than on policy.
The Liberal government, along with the CAQ and QS, has already appealed to the government’s ethics commissioner and Office of the National Assembly.
In the complaint to the CEO, the CAQ alleged that two of PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisee’s employees, and another PQ member working for Poirier, had worked on campaigns for Dec. 5’s by-election by designing advertising materials and organizing activities. The complaint alleges the three did not have their salaries included in election expenses.
CAQ President Stephane Le Bouyonnec said these actions may have constituted fraud and the PQ should reimburse the cost of the services. He added that should the PQ comply, the complaint would be withdrawn.
“We strongly doubt that the PQ will do it, so that’s why we want the DGEQ’s investigation to proceed,” he said.
PQ officials have denied contravening any regulations.
“That’s called hypocrisy,” said Le Bouyonnec. “The law is the law.”