Following the October 30, 1995, referendum, questions were raised concerning two situations that arose during this electoral event:
Considering the importance of these questions, the Directeur général des élections du Québec carried out two inquiries, one into the rejected ballot papers and the other into the Unity Rally. The results of these inquiries were made public on May 13, 1996, by Pierre F. Côté, Chief Electoral Officer:
The second finding made by the Directeur général des élections du Québec at the end of its inquiry into the Unity Rally was that the Committee of Quebecers for the No was not directly involved in the expenses incurred by third parties for this event.
To learn more about the inquiries of the Directeur général des élections du Québec concerning the rejected ballot papers and the Unity Rally, consult the report of the Directeur général des élections du Québec, made public on May 13, 1996. To obtain a copy of this report, please contact us.
In early January 2006, authors Normand Lester and Robin Philpot published a book entitled The Secrets of Option Canada, in which they made public a variety of information and opinions concerning the activities of this organization set up in the months preceding the 1995 referendum. The book notably addressed the question of certain expenses that were allegedly incurred to support the No option in violation, according to the authors, of the rules respecting the control of referendum expenses found in the Special Version of the Election Act for the holding of a referendum.
One aspect of particular interest to the Directeur général des élections du Québec was that Mr. Lester and Mr. Philpot had a large quantity of documents which had been used to prepare their book and a copy of which they had offered to the Directeur général des élections du Québec. After an initial examination of these sources, the Directeur général des élections du Québec launched an inquiry, which it entrusted to retired Judge Bernard Grenier. More than 10 years after the events, and considering the expiry of the time limits for instituting legal proceedings before the courts, Mr. Grenier’s inquiry sought to first shed light on the allegations of the book The Secrets of Option Canada and, if possible, on all of the activities of Option Canada as well as of the associated groups or individuals.
On May 29, 2007, Mr. Bernard Grenier tabled a first report based on his examination of the facts. A second report, made public on June 28, 2007, contained a number of recommendations based on his observations.