Liberal MNA apologizes for fundraising letter sent to synagogue
Published Tuesday, September 17, 2013 7:58AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:43AM EDT
A Liberal MNA has apologized for fundraising at a synagogue in his riding.
Pierre Marsan stood up in the National Assembly Tuesday, on the first day of the fall session, and apologized for his actions.
The questionable fundraising move had turned into an unexpected headache for the Quebec Liberal party.
West Island MNA Pierre Marsan had left a letter at a synagogue asking for donations to his party seemingly in exchange for services rendered to the community during the Liberal party's term of office.
The letter, left in a basket at Shalom Synagogue in Dollard des Ormeaux, states "We gave you a lot - including a daycare permit - so please donate some cash."
The Parti Quebecois wasted no time going on the attack.
"We're back in the old days," said Education Minister Marie Malavoy. "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine"
Liberals were accused of politicizing daycare permits when they were in power, with daycare operators found to be big Liberal donors.
"It's the way they put it; because we give you place in daycare you should give us money to be nice with us," said Tourism Minister Pascal Berubé.
Berubé, a former PQ fundraiser, said places of worship should be off-limits.
"Church, mosque, synagogue, those kind of place, it's not the place for talking about money and politics," said Berubé.
The Liberal MNA who signed the letter admits the words were poorly chosen but it was another MNA who came to Marsan's defense.
"Every MNA likes to tell his constituents what he has done in the riding," said Pierre Arcand.
The opposition Coalition Avenir Quebec joined the chorus of critics, with House leader Gerard Deltell being particularly harsh.
"It's one of ugliest things we have ever seen and more than that they do that where? At the door of the synagogue," said Deltell.
The PQ may consider supporting a motion the CAQ plans to put forward that would ban political fundraising from places of worship.