Prosecution Under the Act Respecting Elections and Referendums in Municipalities - Four Guilty Pleas Entered



    QUEBEC CITY, April 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief Electoral Officer of
Québec, Me  Marcel Blanchet, would like to inform the public that four guilty
pleas have been entered in five cases concerning violations of the Act
respecting elections and referendums in municipalities.

    Montérégie Region

    Three violations of the Act respecting elections and referendums in
municipalities were committed in municipalities situated in the Montérégie
relating to the municipal elections of November 6, 2005.
    In La Prairie, between September 2005 and May 2006, Mr Denis Blanchet,
leader of the party Renouveau de La Prairie, allowed election expenses to be
incurred or paid otherwise than by the official agent of the party, thus
committing the violation envisaged in section 595.1 of the Act.
    On January 24, 2007, Mr Blanchet pleaded guilty to the charge brought
against him and paid a $1,000 fine, plus costs. Furthermore, since the
violation constitutes a corrupt election practice under section 645 of the Act
respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, he is disqualified
from voting for a period of five years.
    A second offense related to the municipal elections occurred in La
Prairie in February 2006. Mr José Tourangeau, the official agent of the party
Renouveau de La Prairie, filed the return of election expenses of the party
with the treasurer of the municipality without having paid all invoices.
    Section 486 of the Act respecting elections and referendums in
municipalities states that before filing his return of election expenses, the
official agent shall pay every claim received within 60 days after polling
day, except any claim he contests.
    On January 24, 2007, Mr Tourangeau pleaded guilty to the charge brought
against him and paid a $500 fine, plus costs.
    A third offense occurred in the Montérégie region, in the municipality of
Les Cèdres, during the period leading up to the municipal elections of
November 6, 2005. While he was not an official agent, Mr Michel Asselin
incurred election expenses in the amount of $800 to distribute by mail two ads
entitled "Assez c'est assez" (Enough is enough).
    However, section 455 of the Act states that during the election period,
only the official agent of a party or an authorized independent candidate can
incur election expenses.
    On February 13, 2007, the date set for his hearing, Mr Asselin entered a
guilty plea to the charge brought against him and was ordered to pay a $500
fine.

    Lanaudière Region

    A violation of the Act respecting elections and referendums in
municipalities was committed in Mascouche, in the Lanaudière region, in
September 2005.
    Mr Serge Hamelin, an elector of the municipality, made a loan to the
party Horizon Mascouche/Team Serge Hamelin knowing that this action would have
the effect of exceeding the maximum amount of $10,000 that can be granted as a
loan by an elector under section 447.1 of the Act respecting elections and
referendums in municipalities.
    On March 21, 2007, Mr Hamelin pleaded guilty to the charge brought
against him and paid a $500 fine, plus costs.
    -%SU: LAW
    -%RE: 66,68




For further information:

For further information: Myriam Régnier, Information Officer, (418)
644-3320, 1-888-870-3320, mregnier@dgeq.qc.ca

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Directeur général des élections

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