Former Bloc leader Duceppe paid party staff with public funds: report
Gilles Duceppe speaks to reporters at a news conference in Laval, Que., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, January 21, 2012 4:46PM EST
MONTREAL - A Montreal newspaper is reporting that former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe paid his party's general manager for seven years with public funds meant to run his Ottawa office.
La Presse says Gilbert Gardner was hired in 2004 to work at the Bloc's headquarters in Montreal and pocketed a salary of more than $100,000 in the final years of his term.
The newspaper says the move would be a violation of parliamentary rules, since the House of Commons funds were meant for activities related to Parliament, not for partisan ones.
Duceppe told La Presse that Gardner was paid by his Ottawa cabinet but said that he didn't break any rules.
The newspaper says the payments will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.
The allegations come amid rumours that Duceppe is working to replace Pauline Marois as head of the provincial Parti Quebecois.
The Bloc's current leader Daniel Paille issued a statement Saturday saying he wouldn't comment on the report.