Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard deflected criticism from the PQ about possible illegal financing allegations, pointing to fresh reports about a meeting in February between the PQ and the government's anti-corruption investigators. The PQ came out with a statement last night confirming the meeting, admitting the information was in the hands of a media outlet but at the same time, saying it wasn't the same thing as being raided by UPAC investigators.
"This is quite subtle to say the least. We're dealing with police inquiries and we've answered questions on our side when events happened. I'm stricked by the fact that it's only revealed after the fact," Couillard said.
"When we had meetings with UPAC, we disclosed them to the director general of our party and other people, so I would expect the same from the PQ. But we should not jump to conclusions, these are inquiries on both sides and we'll see what the outcome will be."
Couillard said the PQ should also not be leaping to any conclusions.
"The only thing I'm asking is that the treatment be symmetric between all the parties. Nobody can pretend not to have anything to answer on those questions," Couillard said.
"And I'm particularly surprised, to say the least, by the false attitude of virginity by the PQ on those matters given the Moisan report, given other elements that are now of public knowledge. They should maybe take these questions with more humility."
Couillard said they're investigating any possible illegal party financing as alleged in a complaint filed by the PQ to Quebec's Director General of Elections.
Couillard said so far their inquiry has turned up nothing on an alleged Liberal event that raised $428,000.
Couillard spoke to reporters during his daily news conference, the same morning that a report resurfaced about the links between his predecessor Jean Charest and the party's ex-chief fundraiser Marc Bibeau, who was the target of UPAC investigations stemming from raids at Quebec Liberal Party headquarters last summer.
Couillard said he is confident that new, iron-clad party financing rules will prevent such fraud.
Couillard tried to distance himself from the report and any ties to Bibeau, saying he only encountered the former fundraiser a few times and he is no longer with the party.