Former ministers of the Liberal government of Jean Charest are active on the ground to help their former leader win the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).
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“It is known that I give a hand to Mr. Charest, it is clear”, confided the former minister Sam Hamad to our Parliamentary Office. “Mr. Charest's former ministers are all loyal to him. He did a lot [in politics] and he deserves to be there.”
"We're working hard and I think it's good news for Canada, because Poilievre is not going to lead Canada. We don't need a Canadian Trump," he said.
In his eyes, the recent exit of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper is anything but a coup de grace for Mr. Charest. On the contrary, he believes that "it smells of panic" in the Poilievre camp.
"It's not new, it's no surprise that those involved in the campaign knew full well that Harper was supporting Poilievre," Hamad said.
Former minister St-Pierre of the party
Mr. Charest had not yet officially entered the race, at the end of the winter, that several of his former ministers said they were already ready to support him.
This is the case of Christine St-Pierre and Lise Thériault, two former Liberal ministers still sitting in Quebec, but who are not seeking a new mandate this year.
Ms. St-Pierre confirms that she sold membership cards through her network to support her former boss.
Even if she was not “at the start, a Conservative”, Ms. St-Pierre got involved because of the personal qualities of Mr. Charest, and so that voters would have “the choice of an alternative which is national” . "He has the stature of a prime minister," she said, recalling that the former prime minister notably created the Council of the Federation and initiated the implementation of the free trade treaty between Canada and the European Union. .
"I think he could be a leader for the Conservative Party [of Canada] who could unite all Conservatives across Canada, not divide them," he said. her in interview.
No official role
A leading player in Mr. Charest's race indicated that none of the former Liberals quoted holds an official role in the campaign, and is therefore not part of the campaign team as such. Their contribution was usually limited to selling membership cards through their network and just over a month from the ballot, getting the vote out.
“Jean Charest has always been careful not to mix his past in provincial politics with his current leadership race,” explained this source.
Former minister Michelle Courchesne confirms that she was approached, but explains that she did not get involved due to lack of time.
Former Minister Jacques Dupuis, meanwhile, did not return our interview request, but was quoted a few times as being involved in the campaign.
“The campaign team in Quebec is made up of motivated people who want to see the CCP form the next government. This same campaign team does not contain deputies or former ministers of any provincial political formation. However, they are free to take their card and vote for Mr. Charest; it is the essence of a leadership race, ”said Federal Conservative Alain Rayes, close to Mr. Charest, in a written statement.