CAQ tables bill to stop municipal politicians from accepting gifts
Quebec's National Assembly (Fred Bissonnette / The Canadian Press)
QUEBEC – Quebec is cracking down on gift-giving to municipal politicians in the province.
The CAQ government tabled Bill 49 at the National Assembly on Wednesday. If passed into law, it would be illegal for city councillors, mayors and municipal employees to accept gifts of any kind.
The bill comes after the Charbonneau Commission issued 60 recommendations to curb potential corruption in the management of public construction contracts at the municipal level.
Recommendation number 58 suggested the relevant laws, regulations, guidelines and code of ethics prohibit all elected provincial and municipal officials, their political staff, public servants, municipal employees, state administrators and public administrators not accept a gift of any kind or value from any supplier of goods or services.
The bill will grant new powers to the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ), enabling it to suspend elected officials and fine them as much as $4,000.
In recent years, Quebec's anti-corruption unit UPAC has raided the administrative offices of several municipalities in the province – including Montreal, Laval, Mascouche, St. Jean-sur-Richelieu and Chambly – in an effort to weed out corruption at the municipal level.