Bailiff needed to get Quebec Conservative leader to pay school taxes, documents show

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Last week, Quebec Conservative Party Leader Éric Duhaime faced questions about unpaid property taxes in Quebec City totalling nearly $14,000. Radio-Canada has since found that Duhaime also failed to pay about $2,400 in school taxes.  (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Last week, Quebec Conservative Party Leader Éric Duhaime faced questions about unpaid property taxes in Quebec City totalling nearly $14,000. Radio-Canada has since found that Duhaime also failed to pay about $2,400 in school taxes. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec failed to pay school taxes for more than two years, leading to a bailiff being hired to collect the money owed, documents show.

According to those documents — which were first reported by La Presse and then obtained by Radio-Canada — Éric Duhaime failed to pay about $2,400 in school taxes between October 2018 and January 2021.

In a June 2021 ruling, a Quebec Court judge ordered Duhaime to pay the sum to the Centre de services scolaire de la Capitale, one of several school service centres in the Quebec City area. An execution notice shows that a bailiff met with Duhaime regarding the unpaid school taxes the following month.

"Mr. Duhaime paid his taxes late, as well as the related interests and penalties," said Cédric Lapointe, the spokesperson for the provincial Conservative party. "[He] assumes full responsibility."

It's the second time in just a few days that the party has had to answer questions about its leader's failure to pay local taxes on time. Last week, Duhaime was dogged by questions about nearly $14,000 in unpaid taxes for two properties in Quebec City.

The unpaid property tax bill was initially reported by Journal de Montréal.

On Friday, the party leader said the property taxes have been paid. He said the delay was his fault, though he added that it was up to his tenant to pay the bill due to the "unusual" agreement between the two parties.

"Sometimes we pay Hydro, sometimes we don't pay Hydro. Sometimes we pay the internet, sometimes we don't pay the internet," Duhaime said last week, referring to how agreements with tenants can vary from one landlord to the next.