Electoral complaint against Liberals backfires as PQ reveals corruption probe questioned senior party officials


Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois visits a play centre during a campaign stop in Blainville, Que., on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

MONTREAL — Attempts by the Parti Quebecois to highlight possible illegal financing by the Liberals have seemingly backfired after it was revealed on the same day, that PQ officials had themselves been questioned by anti corruption investigators in February.

Amid new dire poll warnings for the PQ which showed them losing more ground in the April 7 election, the separatist party filed a complaint Tuesday with the chief electoral officer over three-week-old information about Quebec Liberal party finances.

But in response to questions from reporters, the PQ was later forced to admit in a statement that it had met with two detectives from the provincial anti-corruption squad last month and asked about financing.

In a forgettable day for Pauline Marois in which she tried to turn the campaign focus away from the topics of sovereignty and a referendum, the premier was also forced on the back foot after refusing Liberal calls to release details of her own sizable personal wealth.

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois speaks to supporters as she visits a Sugar Shack on day 19 of the Quebec provincial election campaign in Sainte-Angele-de-Premont, Sunday, March 23, 2014.

Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard, striking back on the issue of integrity, challenged his rivals to publicly release tax returns and asset declarations for themselves and their spouses.

“It’s a question of transparency,” said Couillard, whose party is surging in the polls to a possible majority government. “I hope the other party leaders will do the same.”

But Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois responded by saying she wouldn’t follow suit.

“The answer is no,” Marois told a news conference north of Montreal when asked about Couillard’s challenge.

Quebec’s corruption inquiry has heard the province’s three main political parties all accepted illegal donations over the years, with the Liberals taking the bulk of the cash.

The province’s anti-corruption squad raided Liberal party headquarters last July, which led them to businesses owned by Marc Bibeau, the Liberal’s chief fundraiser, whose companies they raided in November.

Documents from the searches made public earlier this month revealed the Liberals amassed more than $700,000 in contributions, including one event that generated $428,000.

Some of the material seized revealed that $428,000 was raised at one event, yet that amount doesn’t appear in the Liberal’s financial statements, PQ candidate Pierre Duschene said Tuesday.

“Why are they hiding that?” he asked at a news conference.

He said the PQ would like answers from Couillard about where the money came from and why it doesn’t appear in the party’s financial statements.

“Is it being used in the current election campaign?” Duschene asked.

When the information became public on March 3, Bibeau issued a statement, saying he had done nothing illegal.

Later on Tuesday, in response to media questions, the PQ confirmed that Sylvain Tanguay, the PQ’s director general, and Pierre Seguin, its director of finances and administration, had themselves met “in an informal manner” with two detectives from the provincial anti-corruption squad in February and were asked about financing.

Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois talks with a child during a campaign stop at a daycare centre in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

The party said in a statement it had told the police it is funded by voluntary donations and records are kept. It also pointed out it had not been raided and no documents had been seized.

The PQ said it had kept the meeting confidential at the request of the anti-corruption but felt it needed to break its silence when it was raised by the media.

“The Parti Québécois chose to make public all information on this subject, in order to avoid confusion with the situation of the Liberal Party,” the party said

According to the statement, the PQ said anti-corruption investigators planned to speak with all parties about their structure and funding methods.

However, the Coalition party sent out a statement late Tuesday saying they had never been contacted by the anti-corruption squad to explain their finances.

Liberal leader Philippe Couillard leavs City Hall following a meeting with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Montreal.

The PQ called a news conference about the finances Tuesday, the day a new poll showed the Liberals strengthening their lead in the April 7 election.

“We took the time to analyze the information,” Duschene said. “We’re on the eve of an election and a return of the Liberals to power could be like a long visit to the dentist with a drill in the molars.”

The complaint came on the same day that Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard challenged his rivals to publicly release tax returns and asset declarations for themselves and their spouses.

Couillard’s proposal appeared to be an attempt to put the spotlight on Marois’s husband, Claude Blanchet, a wealthy businessman who once headed the Quebec government’s investment arm.

In recent months, Blanchet has been at the centre of a controversy over his possible dealings with the province’s largest labour federation.

It revolves around a 2009 wiretap played at the provincial corruption inquiry that hints at an arrangement between Blanchet and the Quebec Federation of Labour. The federation’s Solidarity Fund invested just under $3 million with Blanchet’s company, BLF Capital.

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois and her husband Claude Blanchet in 2011. Marois says hauling her husband before the Charbonneau Commission is going too far.

Marois and Blanchet, who have insisted they did nothing wrong, had been called to testify before a committee once the legislature resumed sitting March 11. But Marois called the April 7 election on March 5.

Earlier in the day, the Liberal leader promised to publish 2012 income-tax returns and other financial details about himself and his wife on his party’s website before Thursday’s leaders’ debate.

To help make his point, Couillard cited federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s decision last year to disclose all his sources of income and said the move was well-received.

“I think it’s both wise and justified that Quebecers know the state of the personal financial situation of not only the candidate, but also for their close family, notably their husband or wife,” Couillard, who was in the private sector in 2012, told reporters during a campaign stop in Trois-Rivieres.

But Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois responded by saying the provincial ethics commissioner is “very satisfied” with the financial documentation she has already provided. “The ethics commissioner received all the documents that I was supposed to present and that my husband was supposed to present.”

Marois, who reminded journalists how she made her 2011 income-tax return public during the 2012 campaign, accused Couillard of questioning the integrity of the ethics commissioner.

She also attacked Couillard for trying to create a diversion.

“Since he has nothing to propose in terms of ethics, he always finds side roads,” Marois said.

Quebec Liberal Party Leader Philippe Couillard, flanked by local candidates, responds to reporters questions at a news conference Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in Trois-Rivieres, Que. Quebecers are going to the polls on April 7

Questioned about his intentions, Couillard denied he was targeting Blanchet.

“No,” he said. “It’s only my view of today’s demands on the concept of transparency, and the link of trust between the population and the people who want to govern Quebec.”

Coalition Leader Francois Legault and the co-leader of Quebec solidaire, Francoise David, have both indicated they are open to the idea.

Couillard’s proposition came as a new Internet poll suggested his party had seen a boost in popularity and had the support of 40 per cent of voters, compared with 33 per cent for the incumbent PQ.

The Leger Marketing survey of 3,692 Quebecers was conducted March 21-23 for Le Journal de Montreal.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

Leger said a traditional phone poll of the same scope would have a margin of error of 1.9 percentgae points, 19 times out of 20.

The poll also suggested that 31 per cent of Quebecers thought Couillard would make the best premier, while 25 per cent considered Marois the best choice.

On the ballot-box issue of Quebec independence, the survey found 77 per cent of those who had indicated they would back the Liberals believed a PQ majority government would hold a sovereignty referendum. However, only 17 per cent of respondents who said they would support the pro-independence PQ thought it would do so.

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois looks on as Pierre Karl Peladeau gestures during a press conference in Saint Jerome, Que., Sunday, March 9, 2014. Peladeau announced his candidacy for the riding of Saint Jerome for the Parti Quebecois on day five of the Quebec provincial election campaign.

The PQ appears to have sputtered ever since it introduced Quebecor media baron Pierre Karl Peladeau as a star candidate.
Peladeau’s high-profile jump into politics early in the campaign saw him pump his fist and vow to make Quebec a country, an idea that polls repeatedly suggest is opposed by a majority of Quebecers. Marois then spent the next couple of days musing about how a sovereign Quebec might operate.

Marois has since struggled to steer her campaign away from the sovereignty issue amid repeated attacks from Legault, who is anti-referendum, and Couillard, a staunch federalist.

On Tuesday, Marois criticized Couillard throughout her news conference and accused him of stoking referendum fears in the electorate.

“Mr. Couillard is trying to scare Quebecers because he doesn’t have any subject matter to present about his platform or his team,” said Marois.

In response to a question about Peladeau’s campaign launch, Marois said she knew before the event that the media tycoon would make an impassioned call for independence.

“He simply made the statement that was pertinent and justified, and we had agreed on it together,” she said.

With files from The Montreal Gazette


Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Ontario and Ottawa have far more serious problems with the administration of justice in Ottawa.

Our Crown Attorneys are on a war against fathers to lay vexatious charges against fathers while staying charges against those who happen to be politically correct.

That political correctness means 4 men recently spent some 14 years each incarcerated for charges that were eventually thrown out as an abuse of process. Those charges were from a jail house informer who simply read a newspaper article, added some interesting fiction despite convictions for perjury, yes perjury, the Crown went ahead with the longest preliminary hearing in Canadian History. See http://www.kangaroojustice.org/

Recently Ottawa Crown Attorney Vikii Bair "STAYED" charges of Perjury against a lawyer before an hearing could be held and before the evidence or witnesses could be heard, to protect one of the most notorious lawyers in Ottawa known for swearing affidavits that he served documents when had not.

When he was caught red handed by an Ottawa law office, with a stack of witnesses, Corrupt Crown Attorney Vikii Bair 'Stayed" the charges to protect herself and others she associates with from embarrassment. 

Crown Vikii Bair protects the Worst of the Worst Criminals in Ottawa like Ottawa Police Detective Peter Van Der Zander who fabricates evidence NOT to charge a woman with any charges when she attempted to strangle her husband to death.

Then there is Marguerite Isobel Lewis,  the lawyer for the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa who personally fabricates evidence in the court room to unnecessarily keep a child in care. 

One child in care of the CAS for one year equates to some $266,000 which is an idea of just how crime pays for the worst most corrupt criminals in Ottawa.

Then there  is one of the lowest forms of life in Ottawa, a Child Protection Worker, Phillip Hiltz-Laforge who personally fabricates evidence to place children at a risk of harm to protect, a violent abuser, simply because it was politically correct to do so.

Ottawa is full of Criminals working in positions of trust and our Rule of Law is being replaced with endless abuses of Power by those entrusted to serve and protect.

If you are thinking of moving or emigrating to Ottawa Ontario Canada be advised that this is one of the most corrupt places in the western world and perhaps the most corrupt of them all is Vikii Bair, an extreme feminist Crown Attorney who enforces the illegal doctrines know as "Male Sharia Law" and "the process of Justification" which is what criminals use to justify the commission of Criminal offences.