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1995 referendum: Parti Québécois wants ‘No’ campaign investigation documents released

MONTREAL — The Parti Québécois is calling for the release of all documents related to an investigation into illegal spending by the “No” campaign ahead of the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum.

The investigation in 2006 overseen by retired judge Bernard Grenier found that two federalist organizations — which received millions of dollars in funding from Ottawa — failed to report spending of more than $500,000.

More than 90 witnesses appeared during the 16-month closed-door inquiry and more than 4,500 documents were entered into evidence. 

However, Grenier ordered all the evidence — including witness testimony and communication between witnesses and their lawyers — to be permanently sealed.

A motion by PQ Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is scheduled for debate today in the legislature and would require the government to introduce a bill to declassify all the documents related to the Grenier inquiry.

The No side won the Oct. 30, 1995, sovereignty referendum by 50.58 per cent — a majority of 54,288 votes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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