Spurred on by CAQ's millionaire leader, other party leaders release tax returns, reveal assets

The leader of Coalition Avenir Québec revealed his substantial financial assets on Monday, calling on other political leaders to tell the public what they're worth. By day's end, all had complied.

François Legault's assets total $10M, at other end of spectrum, Québec Solidaire's Manon Massé is worth $40K

Coalition Avenir Québec leader Francois Legault is worth nearly $10 million, according to a statement of financial assets released Monday. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

With one week to go before the Oct. 1 provincial election, the leader of Coalition Avenir Québec, François Legault, revealed the extent of his financial assets Monday, calling on other political leaders to do the same.

By late afternoon, all four main party leaders had released their tax returns and financial information.

Legault said he was releasing the information in the interest of transparency. It also provided an opportunity for the wealthy entrepreneur to remind voters of his business acumen, as the co-founder of the charter airline, Air Transat.

Legault worth almost $10M​

The documents released by Legault show he has nearly $10 million in assets.

The home he and his wife, Isabelle Brais, co-own in Outremont is worth more than $4.5 million. Last year, they paid more than $35,000 in municipal property taxes.

Legault's net worth has increased by about $100,000 since the 2014 election campaign, when he last released his financial records.

In 2017, he earned about $127,000. Brais did not claim any income.

The couple swears they do not have any overseas bank accounts.

"I made the choice to be transparent and honest with all Quebecers," said Legault in a statement released Monday.

Massé's finances 'resemble that of many Quebecers'

In stark contrast, Massé, co-spokesperson of left-leaning Québec Solidaire, has combined assets of just over $40,000. She does not own any property.

Her income last year was around $95,000.

"In short, Ms. Massé's [finances] resemble that of many Quebecers," said a party official in an email.

Before becoming an MNA, Massé worked as a community organizer.

Lisée worth nearly $2M

Lisée's assets are worth $1,945,000. He owns two homes — one in Quebec City and the other in Montreal.

Last year, the PQ leader made just over $195,000.

Couillard worth less than in 2014

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard released his financial statements late Monday afternoon.

His assets are worth about $440,000. Last year, his income was just under $200,000.

In the 2014 race, Couillard was the first to release his financial statements, showing $172, 902 in taxable earnings for 2012 and $667,160 in assets, in addition to $656,963 in assets held by his wife.

Challenged by Couillard to release her financial records during that campaign, then-Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois at first refused, prompting unwelcome media speculation about her wealth. She then released her 2012 declaration of earnings.


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