(Quebec) The Ethics Commissioner, Ariane Mignolet, will ultimately not open investigations into CAQ deputies Yves Montigny and Gilles Bélanger.
This is what she announced in a press release on Friday, at the end of an eventful week at the National Assembly where the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) was singled out for its financing methods.
Two investigations are already underway into the financing practices of other members of the CAQ caucus, Sylvain Lévesque and Louis-Charles Thouin.
In the case of MM. Montigny and Bélanger, the commissioner deemed “inadmissible” the requests for investigations made by the member of Québec solidaire (QS), Vincent Marissal.
These “do not contain reasonable grounds, based among other things on the commissioner’s jurisprudence, to believe that a breach could have been committed against the Code,” she declared.
The commissioner wanted to point out that each situation is unique and must be analyzed according to the context and facts specific to it.
“Thus, apparent similarities or resemblances between two situations or a transposition of facts alleged in another request cannot justify the opening of an investigation,” she added.
Mme Mignolet, however, assures that he is “sensitive” to the concerns raised by parliamentarians and the population.
It recalls that it can, on its own initiative, carry out checks or open an investigation if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a breach could have been committed.
In a message obtained by The Canadian Press on Tuesday, Mr. Bélanger invites mayors to meet the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, in exchange for a contribution of $100.
The municipal representative of the region who transmitted the message to the press agency expressed his “discomfort” at this type of solicitation and indicated that he had not participated in the activity.
Furthermore, according to a screenshot obtained by QS, Mr. Montigny invited an entrepreneur from his region to meet a minister at a cocktail in exchange for a contribution of $100 to the party fund.
“I know we haven’t always done what you wanted, but this is a great opportunity to speak to a minister,” we can read.
“Are Quebecers right to be concerned about seeing the CAQ monetizing access to its ministers? » asked Mr. Marissal Tuesday afternoon, during the question period.
“The CAQ has put in place a solicitation system based on access to its ministers,” he was indignant.
CAQ leader and Prime Minister François Legault acknowledged Thursday that the situation could raise a “perception,” “doubts” in people’s minds, while saying that his party respected the rules.
He announced that the CAQ would temporarily renounce popular financing.