QUEBEC | After pleading ignorance and asserting that it was his tenant who had to pay the taxes on one of the buildings he owned, Éric Duhaime took full responsibility for this blunder.
“I don't want to look like a dude who's slipping away,” the Tory leader said in response to questions about the deal he had with his tenant.  ;
Mr. Duhaime had contracted a debt of more than $ 14,000 with the City of Quebec for non-payment of municipal taxes, revealed the Bureau of investigation of the Journal Friday. He would have contacted his tenant as soon as he was made aware of the situation and the latter would have gone to pay the amount due within the hour that followed.
“It doesn't absolve me of responsibility. I own the building and I am responsible for ensuring that the taxes are paid. I take full responsibility for it, I am accountable,” he repeated several times during a press briefing in Quebec City on Saturday morning.
The Conservative leader also agreed the unusual nature of his agreement with his tenant, without however specifying the nature. “Each person is free to negotiate whatever they want. There is no best way to do it. Everyone can negotiate as they want”, he justified himself.
“Sometimes we pay for hydro, sometimes we don't pay for hydro, sometimes we pay for internet, sometimes we don't pay for internet, sometimes we pay for oil, sometimes we don't.”  ;
On the sidelines of the presentation of the CAQ's financial framework, François Legault reacted to Mr. Duhaime's situation. He contented himself with saying that Quebecers will have to decide on October 3 “who will manage part (…) of their portfolio” and to “judge the various leaders who present themselves.”
Due to the particular context of the election campaign, strongly marked by security issues, Éric Duhaime regrets that a photo of his residence ended up on the front page of the Journal.
“You know like me that we have two volunteers who were attacked with knives. You know like me that there is a candidate who has been threatened with death. You know like me that other political parties have received threats, you know like me that a Liberal MP has seen his offices ransacked. You also know that I am the only leader of a political party who has no security,” thundered the Conservative leader.
“I paid my taxes late, but is- Does that justify putting my house on the front page of the Journal? I find it particularly irresponsible.”
Before answering questions about his taxes, Éric Duhaime pledged to convene a Summit on Mental Health and Youth within the first hundred days of his government.
The Conservative leader chose World Suicide Prevention Day to make the announcement. This Summit would bring together all the players concerned as well as experts in the field to paint a portrait of the mental health situation.
The objective would be to find measures that can be put in place at short, medium and long term, he said during a press briefing at the exit of the offices of the Quebec Suicide Prevention Center.
According to the data the data from the INSPQ, 1,128 people took their own lives in Quebec during 2019. This represents a crude suicide rate of 13.3 per 100,000 people.
More details to come…
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128