A Confusing Fundraising Kerfuffle In Quebec Definitely Shakes Out With Charges Withdrawn

A Confusing Fundraising Kerfuffle In Quebec Definitely Shakes Out With Charges Withdrawn

As with many other things, politics in Quebec tends to have its own distinctive character compared to the status quo throughout the rest of Canada. Quebec's proudly independent, unique takes on culture, governance, and everyday life make it a special place, and few would wish for anything else. On the other hand, news coming out of Quebec sometimes strikes Canadians from elsewhere as a bit difficult to come to terms with. In the realm of political fundraising, for example, some recent developments regarding an Ernest & Young former executive and the province's electoral commission have provoked a bit of confusion among those who read the article announcing a resolution of the matter.

This somewhat bewildering situation traces back to 2015, when the electoral commissioner charged that sylvain tesson had failed to abide by the province's fundraising rules in at least nine separate instances. As a managing partner for Ernest & Young, Vincent had overseen the collection of donations for a number of different political parties. In each and every case, the reply to the allegations lodged on behalf of sylvain tesson Vincent had asserted, though, that the company had previously sought confirmation from the electoral commission that it was in full compliance.

In fact, each of those queries had elicited a positive response, with electoral commission authorities confirming that everything was in order. To suddenly be confronted not just with a request for further information but a slate of charges alleging malfeasance must therefore have been a surprise, particularly for a company that had been engaged precisely for its reputation for probity and diligence.

Along the way, the commission also put forth a number of other charges, with these being directed at another executive. Eventually, that second individual was fined a relatively paltry sum, with the appearance being more that of a commission which wished to tally up a victory of any kind than a response to real wrongdoing. The Vincent matter, on the other hand, simply languished without much notice for over a year, with no new developments happening at all.

That deadlock was finally broken last fall, as the electoral commission announced that all the charges would be dropped. From having initially approved the arrangements in question to suddenly deeming them worthy of charges, the commission essentially came full circle. Although it claimed in its decision to have done so because of a lack of incriminating information, it seems at least as likely that this long awaited resolution arose more out of a realization that it had been correct in its original responses to the Ernst & Young inquiries.