Marois Says Husband’s Report Payback for Corruption Crackdown

In response to reports claiming that Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois’s husband pocketed illegal political donations on her behalf, the party leader alleged that someone upset about her party’s crackdown on corruption is behind the damaging report.

According to a report issued by French-language broadcaster, Radio-Canada, on Monday, two representatives of Quebec engineering firms have confessed being asked by Claude Blanchet to give money to Marois’ leadership campaign in 2007 and to her provincial election campaign in 2008. A sworn affidavit submitted by one of the two claims that Blanchet received a series of cheques summing up to $25,000 in the spring of 2007, in lieu of hoping that the engineering firm would have “privileged access to Madame Pauline Marois.” According to the two employees of the same firm, the company reimbursed them later for the expense.

Condemning the PQ leader, Quebec Liberal leader Philippe Couillard alleged that improper political fundraising for the party show that the party’s ethical standing is tarnished. “The last two or three years apparently the PQ was without any stain. That’s obviously not the case,” said Couillard, recalling how members of the PQ made a show of wearing white scarves outside the provincial legislature to demand an inquiry into government corruption in May 2010. Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Couillard alleged “remember the white scarf,” adding that “the white scarf is stained, and even ripped.”

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