Photo: Jacques Boissinot Archives The canadian Press
According to the Journal de Québec, virtually all of the council of ministers in 2003-2004 was invited to these feasts, including Philippe Couillard, then minister of Health.
The three opposition parties in the national Assembly joined forces on Wednesday to blame once again to the Quebec liberal Party (QLP), and more particularly to the prime minister Philippe Couillard, his lack of ethics.
Based on the revelations of the Journal de Montréal, the parliamentary leader of the Parti québécois (PQ), Pascal Bérubé, has led the charge and argued that the PLQ was under the influence of the former silversmith’s liberal Marc Bibeau.
“What we learn this morning is major,” said Mr. Bérubé at the entrance of his caucus. Imagine the following scene. Is there a citizen of Quebec who can say : “Me, I’d like to have half of the council of ministers in my court to do a party” ? […] Why this is possible with Marc Bibeau ? “
“This is clearly a government under the influence, the influence of money “, has he hammered.
In its edition of Wednesday, the Newspaper maintains that Mr. Bibeau has organized at least seven sumptuous feasts, at his home in Beaconsfield, to put in contact of the liberal ministers and of the consulting engineering firms that contributed to the party funds.
Always according to the newspaper, virtually everyone in the council of ministers in 2003-2004 was invited to these feasts, of which Mr. Couillard, then minister of Health.
Mr. Bérubé has demanded explanations from the ministers still in office today. It also invites the Director-general of elections (DGE) to look into the revelations, including the assertion that the ministerial office, funded by public funds, would have contributed to these partisan activities.
“Never seen that before, it’s illegal,” said the mna Bérubé, adding that after verification, no partisan activity has not been reported at this specific time.
Investigations of the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) and the auditor general, which affect in particular the financing of the liberal Party, are currently in progress.
For its part, the mna Éric Caire, the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), said he is “disgusted” by the ” traffic of influence “. He said they suspected that Mr. Bibeau was “the long arm” and obtain lucrative deals from the government.
Moreover, the leader of the CAQ, François Legault, said that Mr Bibeau had made thousands of calls with officers of Crown corporations, including Hydro-Québec, Loto-Québec and the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ).
“Is it that the prime minister may, this morning, to get up, to reassure Quebeckers and to tell them the checks made to ensure that the grand treasurer of the liberal Party, Marc Bibeau, was not favoured by State-owned companies, and is not now promoted by State-owned companies ?” he asked in the Room.
The member Amir Khadir, of Québec solidaire, has not hesitated to speak of “corruption” that ” gangrene of the liberal Party, and this is not set “.
“There is a detail that is striking, it is the role of Philippe Couillard, he said. It is clear that it is a minister of $ 100,000, from the era of the Charest and was at the centre of it all. “
Other times, other manners
This issue has occupied a major part of the question and answer period, on Wednesday, while the prime minister Couillard acknowledged to be went to a party hosted by Marc Bibeau.
“It was a social event. […] There was nothing else that encounters between people “, he defended the blue Room.
But ” it was necessary to put an end to a kind of closeness that was becoming increasingly difficult, even for the perception, between the business community and elected officials. It is a thing of the past : in 2017-2018, that time is past “, he said.
All the political parties at that time were of similar practices, now regarded as suspect, and certainly outdated, ” added the minister of Reform of democratic institutions, Kathleen Weil.
For example, has counter-attacked the government house leader Jean-Marc Fournier, the former prime minister of the pq’s Bernard Landry was involved in all of the years to a cocktail of Christmas Oxygen 9, a firm that provided lobbying, who have received a commission automatic on government grants.
It has also been targeted by François Legault, who, as minister of Health under the PQ government, would have participated in an event involving only the presidents of the pharmaceutical companies.
The opposition parties cannot claim to be “virgins,” concluded Mr. Fournier.
For the liberal Serge Simard, the events occurred ” in another era “. The minister delegate to the Integrity of the public markets, Robert Poëti, has argued that the laws on the financing of political parties have been tightened since. The president of the treasury Board, Pierre Arcand, has, for its part, denounced “harassment” of the opposition parties.