Parti Québécois defends meeting with UPAC investigators

PQ candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau says a meeting between UPAC investigators and senior members of his party is nothing like the searches carried out at the Liberal party's offices last year.

Anti-corruption unit met with senior party members, Sylvain Tanguay and Pierre Séguin

PQ leader Pauline Marois responds to a question during a news conference on Wednesday. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

The Parti Québécois is defending itself after it came to light that senior party members met with anti-corruption unit (UPAC) investigators in February.

On Wednesday, PQ Leader Pauline Marois diminished the importance of the meeting with UPAC investigators, adding that she had not been personally questioned by investigators. 

"I will never accept a comparison between the Liberal Party and the Party Québécois related to fundraising or granting contracts," Marois told journalists at a news conference in Montreal.

Saint-Jérôme PQ candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau defended his party publicly, arguing that a meeting with a few investigators isn't the same as the search warrants that were carried out at the provincial Liberal party's offices last summer.

"A search is authorized by a judge. A courteous visit by UPAC, that's something else," Péleadeau said in an interview with Radio-Canada. 

"Let's wait for the Charbonneau commission's conclusions. Are we going to trust the Liberal party to apply the recommendations of the Charbonneau commission? That's wishful thinking," Péladeau said.

On Tuesday, the PQ filed a formal complaint with Quebec's chief electoral officer over allegations of inappropriate Liberal fundraising. The allegations were based on search warrant documents from that UPAC raid on Liberal offices.

Later that day, the PQ released its own statement saying that two investigators had met with its general director, SylvainTanguay, and its director of finances and administration, Pierre Séguin, in February.

According to Marois, the meeting had been kept secret at the request of UPAC and not because the party had anything to hide.