PCQ “mega mid-campaign rally”: Éric Duhaime withdraws his $500 invitations

“Méga mid-campaign rally” of the PCQ: Éric Duhaime withdraws his $500 invitations

, Marie Christine Trottier and Jean-Louis Fortin MISE À DAY

Éric Duhaime's Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) yesterday withdrew “VIP tickets” to $500 he was offering for a “mega mid-campaign rally”, the price of which could create confusion because it exceeded the maximum allowed for a political contribution. 

The former radio host sent an invitation by email yesterday morning to the “largest gathering in the history of the Conservative Party of Quebec”, scheduled for tomorrow, starting at 5 p.m., in the hall of the Center Videotron, in Quebec. 

” This is an opportunity not to be missed to come and support your candidates from the Conservative Party of Quebec,” reads the PCQ newsletter.  

Each participant is however asked to provide “some financial effort” to take part in the gathering.  

Two “volunteer” options offered to them: entrance tickets “at the meager cost of $10 ” or a “VIP ticket” for the tidy sum of $500. 

Tickets for the “largest rally in the history of the Conservative Party of Quebec”, which is due to take place tomorrow in the lobby of the Videotron Center in the capital, were first displayed yesterday at $500. The price was reduced during the day to $50.

From $500… to $50

In the hours following the sending of the missive, the link inserted in the email leading to the purchase of the $500 ticket was first deactivated. It was then modified at the beginning of the afternoon to lead to a page that allows the purchase of a ticket at… $50.  

< p>“As soon as the chef was made aware of the price of the ticket, he immediately asked that it be changed to $50 […] For him, it is not desirable to ask for a price so high to participate in a political event even if it is completely legal, “reacted at the end of the day, yesterday, Cédric Lapointe, press officer for Éric Duhaime.  

The $500 $ VIP ticket could be confusing since the electoral law sets the maximum amount that a voter can donate to a political party during an election campaign at $200.

The PCQ claims to have had the green light from Élections Québec to put these $500 tickets on sale. He considers that it is not a fundraising evening, but a political activity. 

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No donation

Thus, the sums collected must be used only to pay the expenses of the evening. No donation will be taken from the tickets sold.  

“ At the end of this activity, the official representative must complete an activity report to establish that the sums collected during the activity correspond to all the real costs incurred by the activity “, specifies the spokesperson for Élections Québec, Dany Lapointe. 

The latter confirms that the cost of entry to a political activity is not a contribution, when this price does not exceed the actual cost of this activity by more than 5%. 

More than 700 people had confirmed their presence at the rally on Wednesday via the invitation launched on Facebook.

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