Trudeau Liberals seek donations from unlikely source - PQ interim leader Pascal Berube
Justin Trudeau's Liberals went looking for a donation from an unlikely source -- the interim leader of the sovereigntist Parti Quebecois.
The unusual pitch -- a Liberal Party of Canada letter dated May 2 and signed by the prime minister -- came in the mail to Pascal Berube's constituency office in Matane, Que.
"I have never seen such a thing. Never," Berube said in an interview.
"Usually political parties will first target their own members for donations ... but to do that in a general way, I've never seen such a thing."
Berube's hometown is located in the federal riding of Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapedia, which is currently represented by Liberal MP Remi Masse.
Other sovereigntists from elsewhere in the province -- who've said they've never supported the federal Liberals -- reported on social media that they too had received the Liberals' letter. Some wondered aloud where the Liberal Party of Canada would've found the PQ's mailing list.
The Liberal party told The Canadian Press that the letter was circulated across the country, and that respecting and protecting people's privacy is a top priority for the party.
"Parties and their leaders often use funding letters like this one to reach out to more Canadians to raise donations for a major campaign," the party said in a statement. "This letter has been circulated across the country and in both official languages."
In Ottawa, Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, a Quebec Liberal MP, said it shows the party is open and transparent when it seeks funding from PQ members.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said the party manages the list, but sometimes mixups with names do occur.
"It happens quite rarely, otherwise you'd ask the question more often," Rodriguez told reporters.
For his part, Berube said he declined the Liberals' request, adding he's already donated to the Bloc Quebecois.