CAQ files complaint alleging PQ used public money to pay staffers

The Coalition Avenir Quebec filed a formal complaint with Quebec’s Chief Electoral Officer on Sunday, over the alleged misappropriation of public funds by the Parti Quebecois.

On Friday, the CAQ, Liberals and Quebec Solidaire jointly condemn the PQ for reportedly paying staffers engaged in partisan work from public funds.

The Journal de Quebec reports five employees of party whip Carole Poirier, working at the party’s Montreal headquarters, were being used on party campaigns, rather than on policy.

The Liberal government, along with the CAQ and QS, has already informally appealed to the government’s ethics commissioner and Office of the National Assembly.

In the formal complaint to the CEO, the CAQ alleged two of PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisee’s employees, and another PQ member working for Poirier, worked on campaigns for Dec. 5’s by-election. The CAQ claims the staffers were designing advertising materials and organizing campaign activities, and their salaries were not disclosed in election expenses.

These actions may have constituted fraud, according to CAQ President Stephane Le Bouyonnec, who adds and the PQ should reimburse the National Assembly fund for partisan work.

“We strongly doubt that the PQ will do it, so that’s why we want the DGEQ’s investigation to proceed,” he said, but should the PQ comply, the complaint would be withdrawn.

PQ officials have denied any wrongdoing.

“That’s called hypocrisy,” said Le Bouyonnec. “The law is the law.”