Environmental coalition told to take down its party report cards
Équiterre, Greenpeace and David Suzuki Foundation among groups that evaluated policies of 4 main parties
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.