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Duceppe kept House in the dark about director general: Report

Brigitte Pellerin and Jessica Murphy, QMI Agency
Gilles Duceppe. (Luc Cinq-Mars/QMI Agency)

Gilles Duceppe. (Luc Cinq-Mars/QMI Agency)


It looks Gilles Duceppe's troubles are far from over.

Montreal's La Presse newspaper reported Wednesday the former Bloc Quebecois leader and his entourage kept the House of Commons in the dark as to the exact work status of the party's director general, Gilbert Gardner.

Several sources told La Presse Gardner was first hired as "special adviser" on the Hill in January 2004.

Seven months later, in late August, Gardner's job changed to director general of the party, but this change was never communicated to the House of Commons.

The newspaper reported that contrary to what Duceppe said in January, he never sought legal advice that House of Commons rules let him to pay party staffers with parliamentary money.

Duceppe met with the Board of Internal Economy in Ottawa on Monday to face questions over his use of parliamentary funds for staff salary.

The former separatist leader maintains putting Gardner on the taxpayer-funded payroll fell within House rules.

The board said it was "continuing and expanding its review of the matter."

Other parties maintain the board needs to complete its work before they comment on any new concerns.

But Liberal MP Marc Garneau said Wednesday he had no doubt the board would look into the fresh allegations.

"The new job description was very, very different - from assistant to the leader to becoming the party's director general," he said. "The board is aware of that."