Monday, September 25, 2023

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest to run for the Conservative leadership

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest is keeping his powder dry but those who have spoken to him are under no illusions – he is in as a contender for the federal Conservative leadership, with his official announcement expected later this month.

His wife of 40 years, Michèle Dionne, and his three grown children are onside and he is gathering a team of experienced campaigners around him, including Nick Kouvalis, who was successful in helping elect Rob Ford and John Tory as Toronto’s mayor and less successful in raising Kellie Leitch to the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2017.

Former political adversaries are already using their bully pulpits to take a pop at him. Former Parti Québécois cabinet minister Joseph Facal wrote a barbed attack Tuesday in Le Journal de Montréal that suggested Charest is addicted to the political jousting, the exercise of power, the limelight and the adrenaline but has little to offer beyond personal ambition.

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