Montreal

Environmental coalition told to take down its party report cards

A coalition of environmental groups says Quebec's chief electoral officer is trying to "muzzle" the groups by suppressing a report that graded the environmental platforms of the four main political parties.

Équiterre​, Greenpeace and David Suzuki Foundation among groups that evaluated policies of 4 main parties

A coalition of environmental groups, including Équiterre​, Greenpeace and the David Suzuki Foundation, asked the four main parties for their positions on key issues, including public transportation. (Radio-Canada)

A coalition of environmental groups says Quebec's chief electoral officer is trying to "muzzle" the groups by suppressing a report that graded the parties' electoral platforms.

The coalition, made up of groups including Équiterre​, Greenpeace and the David Suzuki Foundation, asked the four main parties for their positions on 23 key environmental issues.

It then published the results online.

The coalition says it was ordered Monday to take down the results within 48 hours because they violate a section of Quebec's election law, which stipulates that outside groups can't spend money during campaigns to promote or denigrate a party's positions.

The group is refusing — and could face a fine between $10,000 and $50,000.

Sidney Ribaux, the co-founder of Équiterre​​, said the information is clearly non-partisan and meant to help voters.

"If our groups are not able to express themselves during an electoral period, where are citizens supposed to get the information if the environment is one of their priorities?" Ribaux said at a news conference Wednesday.

"We have no intention of supporting or disadvantaging a party through this process."

A spokesperson for Quebec's chief electoral officer declined to comment on the case.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now