Francois Legault worth $10 million; Jean-Francois Lisee $2 million

Francois Legault worth $10 million; Jean-Francois Lisee $2 million
Quebec election: Leaders release their personal finances
Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault is the richest of the four main party leaders, with a net worth of $9.866 million, according to financial information released Monday. Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault released his 2017 federal tax return and details about his personal finances on Monday morning.

Spurred on by CAQs millionaire leader, other party leaders release tax returns, reveal assets

According to the document released by the CAQ, Legault and his spouse, Isabelle Brais, had an RRSP consisting of Quebec savings bonds worth $5.781 million and own a single property with a municipal evaluation of $4.556 million.

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The return shows Legault earning $126,959.32 in employment income; he had no other income in 2017, according to the return.

With the $4.6 million municipal evaluation of his home, Legault stands to save $3,189 in school taxes if his party is elected and carries out its plan to reduce the school tax.

With one week to go before the Oct. 1 provincial election, the leader of Coalition Avenir Québec, François Legault, revealed the extent of his financial assets Monday, calling on other political leaders to do the same.

While he said he wants this sort of transparency to be the norm in Quebec, he said he doesn’t like doing it.

“I’ve got two boys of 24, 25 years old,” he said. “I don’t want that they spend the money right away.”

The home he and his wife, Isabelle Brais, co-own in Outremont is worth more than $4.5 million. Last year, they paid more than $35,000 in municipal property taxes.

Jean-François Lisée went further, releasing both his full provincial and federal tax return.

Lisée’s federal tax return showed gross income of $193,109, mostly from employment.

In start contrast, Massé, co-spokesperson of left-leaning Québec Solidaire, has combined assets of just over $40,000. She does not own any property.

The Parti Québecois leader had a net worth of $1,945,603.97 — with $235,714.55 in the bank, $380,581 in retirement accounts and $260,298.26 in an education savings account.

Lisée owns 10 per cent of his father’s company, Lisée Immeubles, worth $100,000 and he also has a credit line worth $70,994.36.

Lisée owns a property in Quebec City worth $379,000, which had a mortgage of $91,955.71 as of Dec. 31, 2017.

“It’s not a question of wealth, it’s a question of vision and core beliefs, I’ve always been very much for social equality, equality for chances, and this never left me,” Lisée said. “The criteria is where does your heart lie, what kind of policies do you want to bring forward?”

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard released an audited statement outlining his finances as of Dec. 31, 2017. He had a net worth of $441,919.

By late afternoon, all four main party leaders had released their tax returns and financial information.

He co-owns a home in St-Félicien in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, his share is worth $245,000.

Manon Massé reported a salary of $96,860.43 and had $41,320.08 in and RRSP and tax-free savings account. She does not own a home.

One of the leaders vying to be Quebec premier is worth nearly $10 million, while another has assets of just short of $2 million.

Coalition Avenir Quebecs Francois Legaults personal wealth stood at $9.86 million as of this past July 31, according to documents filed Monday.

That includes a $4.5-million Montreal home he owns with his wife on which they pay about $36,000 a year in municipal taxes. It is his only property.

He had a retirement savings portfolio worth $5.78 million, but also a $471,000 equity line of credit.

The Coalition leader said on Day 33 of the campaign he didnt like having to make his assets public, but that it was an obligation in the interest of transparency.

"I think its a tradition in about everywhere in the world to publish your assets, to publish your income-tax reports," Legault said. "I did it in 2014, I did it this year. I think its important that we be transparent.

"(But) I dont like that. I have two boys of 24 and 25, so if you have children you can imagine the reaction. I dont want them to spend the money right away."

The party, which has a strong stance against tax havens, noted that Legault has no bank accounts outside of Canada.

Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Legault, meanwhile, listed assets worth $1.95 million — but the documents did not include his income tax return.

He also owns 40 per cent of a property in Montreal that is estimated to be worth $468,000, while the documents show Lisee has a line of credit of about $71,000.

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard said earlier during the election campaign he would not release his finances, but a spokeswoman indicated Monday hed changed his mind.

The partys candidate for premier made $3,150 worth of donations in 2017, including $2,300 to the Federation des femmes du Quebec, a womens organization.

All of them answered the call, but then-PQ leader Pauline Marois only divulged her 2012 tax return after initially balking at the request altogether, arguing shed already filed her paperwork with the provinces ethics commissioner.

Earlier on Monday, Legault said he would spend the coming days in Quebecs outlying regions, hoping their votes would put him back into majority territory.

"I dont take anything for granted," Legault said in Mont-Laurier. "Im confident that on Oct. 1, we will have a majority government, and it will be mainly because of the regions."

Lisee, meanwhile, encouraged anglophone voters to give his party a whirl, noting they could safely vote PQ knowing there wont be a sovereignty referendum in the partys first mandate.

Lisee encouraged voters who generally wouldnt touch the PQ to try it for a term and park their vote elsewhere in 2022 if he hasnt convinced them by then of the benefits of independence.

"It warms my heart because it means our message is getting through of who we are," Lisee said.

"We will not change our core conviction to get votes, but the deal we can make with you is that our commitment to not hold a referendum of independence in the first mandate is iron-clad."

— with files from Julien Arsenault and Vicky Fragasso-Marquis in Montreal and Melanie Marquis in Mont-Laurier, Que.

Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault reaches out to supporters during a campaign stop in Sainte-Anne-des Plaines, Que. on Saturday, September 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson