Couillard to publish tax returns; Marois says existing declarations suffice
Published Tuesday, March 25, 2014 11:31AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:30PM EDT
Liberal leader Philippe Couillard says he will publicly release his tax returns this week, and is calling on his rivals to do the same.
Couillard will post the information about himself and his wife on the Liberal party's website before the leaders' debate on Thursday.
"People have to know who is the person there, asking me to nominate him or her as premier of Quebec? What is their character? What is the life story? What is their personal situation?" said Couillard.
"There are questions of transparency all around the world, not only in Quebec and I think this will become the norm."
Premier Pauline Marois said Tuesday morning she would not follow suit because she has already been giving such information to the province's ethics commissioner for several years.
"We have now a Commissaire d’ethique and I tabled all the information about my financial conditions, and that was exactly the same for my husband," said Marois.
"I have full confidence in the Commissaire d’ethique."
Marois also said demanding more information amounts to questioning the ethics of the Ethics Commissioner.
The information published on the Ethics Commissioners' website includes information about the type of assets MNAs possess, but specific dollar amounts are removed.
Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault said Tuesday he would make his information public if the other leaders do.
PQ lodges complaint
Parti Quebecois Minister Pierre Duchesne deposited a formal complaint on behalf of his party Tuesday afternoon in relation to a Liberal fundraising activity that raised thousands of dollars, but according to Duchesne, isn’t mentioned on any of the party’s financial documents.
The fundraiser was a cocktail party that raised $428,000, but isn’t found in any documents the Liberals provided to Elections Quebec, according to a release put out by the PQ.
“Today, (Couillard) announced that he wants to be transparent, but he omitted a few details. What we need to know is the reasons that led to the UPAC searches at Liberal Party headquarters last summer, Duchesne is quoted as saying.
“Philippe Couillard was personally visited by investigators. What does he know that he refuses to say? "
His comments refer to raid carried out by UPAC, the province’s anti-corruption squad, last July at Liberal headquarters.
Police were seeking evidence to use in an investigation into an illegal political financing plot, in which party donations were exchanged for public contracts.
Duchesne is calling on the Liberal leader to answer questions about the UPAC raid, including what happened to the funds and whether they’re being used in the present campaign.