Conservative Party leadership race | Charest wants to be in Commons quickly if he becomes the leader

(Ottawa) Jean Charest intends to enter the House of Commons as soon as possible, thanks to a by-election, if he becomes leader of the Conservative Party on September 10.

Posted at 9.00

Joel-Denis Bellavance

Joel-Denis Bellavance
Pers

The former Prime Minister of Quebec, who represented the Sherbrooke federal equestrian from 1984-1998 before making the jump to the provincial scene, made clear his intention to use the necessary means to occupy as soon as possible the seat of the Official Leader of the Opposition in the Commons if Conservative Party members elect him as the next leader.

No decision has yet been made on which horse he could choose for a possible return to the federal scene. Currently, the Sherbrooke race is held by Liberal MNA lisabeth Brière.

That’s a great question that I really like, and the answer is yes. I think it is important for me to be able to enter the House of Commons within a reasonable time.

Jean Charest, candidate for leader of the Canadian Conservative Party

“Obviously, we are not in control of the situation as far as the Prime Minister sets the by-election date. And you have to find me a constituent. But I can’t wait to have that problem,” added Mr Charest in an interview with Pers Friday.

He will participate in the show Everyone is talking about itSunday night on Radio-Canada.

MPs have resigned for Mulroney and Chrétien

In the past, there have been times when a member of a political formation has left his seat to allow a new leader to enter Parliament.

So when Brian Mulroney was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1983, Central Nova MP Elmer MacKay resigned to allow his new leader to run in the by-elections. Mr Mulroney was easily elected and was able to take his place in the Commons as Official Leader of the Opposition. In the next general election, Mr Mulroney ran for office in his native Baie-Comeau.

In 1990, Jean Chrétien followed the same formula after being elected leader of the Canadian Liberal Party four years after leaving politics. He sought a vote in Beauséjour, New Brunswick, which had been freed by Liberal MP Fernand Robichaud, to lead his troops into the Commons. In the 1993 general election, Mr Chrétien was re-elected in charge of Saint-Maurice.

Hard for Freeland’s budget

In an interview, Charest also harshly assessed the federal budget proposed by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, saying it did not contain a credible economic growth plan and left public finances vulnerable to other economic shocks.

“The budget has a big drawback: there is no real plan for economic growth. This is sorely lacking in Canada. We need to grow our economy. The contrast is stark because the Trudeau government is spending. But for shopping, you have to have money, you have to have income. We have to have an economy that is able to sustain the level of government spending,” Charest said.

“There is an additional $50 billion in spending in this budget that is permanent. The budget highlights are the most worrying,” the former prime minister added.

Charest cited the Trudeau government’s decision to launch a “world-class Canadian growth fund”, which will capitalize on $15 billion over five years.

“The government will collect taxes to build a fund of 15 billion to spend on supporting businesses. Therefore, they will tax the company to support the company on a project that they believe is profitable. But if they create more favorable economic conditions, companies can invest themselves to create prosperity and generate income,” he said.

Charest considered that the Trudeau government’s record in stimulating investment was not very good, pointing to the creation of the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, which made it possible to finance major infrastructure projects in the country with private sector assistance. The results have been mixed so far. The Crown Company was offered a prize pool of $35 billion.

“The Infrastructure Bank never took off. It is the only bank in Canada still seeking clients,” he said.

Already have a suggestion

Over the past few days, Mr Charest has begun to unveil a series of policies as part of the leadership race. Among other things, he proposed increasing the national defense budget to 2% of GDP and passing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act outlawing illegal blockades such as the one on the bridge between Windsor and Detroit in February. He plans to unveil other policies in the coming weeks.

Charest is on the list of more than half a dozen candidates running for leader of the Conservative Party. The Conservative MP for Carleton, Pierre Poilievre, is considered the leader of the race. The events in which he participated attracted many activists and curious people. Some events attract around 1,000 people, mainly in Lindsay, Ontario, and Vancouver.

Candidates have until April 19 to confirm their intentions.

Atwater Adkins

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