The former prime ministers’ letter respects the law, says Marois

Pauline Marois is standing up for grantees of major health foundations, including the Desmarais family, who she backed this week in a letter co-signed with five other former prime ministers. The process was done according to the rules of art, he says.

“That’s one question I asked, which is, ‘Is everything correct and does it comply with the lobbying law?’ And they told me yes,” said Marois, Saturday, at the entrance of the national council of the Parti Québécois, in Saint-Hyacinthe.

The former deputy of the PQ does not regret for a moment having put her signature at the bottom of the letter, which asked the current Minister of Health to review his bill 15 to avoid the loss of “personality legal and autonomy” of university and research hospitals. institutes In its current form, the six former prime ministers argued, PL15 would have “adverse effects” on philanthropic funding.

However, on Friday afternoon, Quebec lobbying commissioner Jean-François Routhier took to the pen to express doubts about the approach.

“The public nature of this letter gives it an aura of transparency. But is this really the case? “, he writes in a post published on the commissioner’s website. “If a lobbyist had sent a letter of this type to the Minister of Health, he would have had to comply with the disclosure requirements established in the Act. »

“sort out”

The approach was made at the initiative of large foundations in the health sector, agreed Marois, Saturday. But “I’m old enough, I’m experienced enough to make my own decisions,” he said.

THE Quebec magazine recalled this week that one of the institutions behind the letter, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, is largely funded by the Desmarais family. The latter is known for his opposition to the sovereignty project promoted by former Prime Minister Marois.

In an interview with the duty Friday, Mme Marois had justified his choice to sign the letter despite everything. “You know, Quebec has been poor for a long time. We’re starting to see what we call Quebec Inc. appear, with a little more means and who are able to contribute to their community through philanthropy,” he said. to say.

“I was a little surprised to see that we wanted to condemn people because they have, yes, significant fortunes. They could also keep it for themselves, invest it elsewhere, but they choose to invest it in the Quebec community and do it in high-quality institutions,” he continued.

Christian Dubé has not changed his position this week, despite the letter from the former prime ministers. This week he reiterated that hospitals and university institutes must “work better together”.

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