Mr. Speaker, Quebec Premier Bernard Landry is describing the coming Quebec legislation on lobbyists as the “most advanced in the world”. Alas, the reality is not so grand.
This Quebec bill, which has been hurriedly cobbled together, does not in any way respond to the concerns raised by the Landry government's sleight of hand with funding. The real problem is not with the lobbyists, but with the politicians. The real problem is the system put in place by the former finance minister, that is Bernard Landry, to channel funding through eight not-for-profit organizations.
Thanks to this system, the PQ government has been able to keep some $700 million away from the scrutiny of Quebec's elected representatives and its public; not only are these funds out of reach of the access to information legislation, but they are being administered by representatives of the funded organizations themselves, and by members of the PQ buddy system.