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Four Conservative MPs want Jean Charest to enter party’s leadership race

Former member of parliament and former Quebec premier Jean Charest stands as he is recognized by the Speaker of the House of Commons following Question Period, Monday, April 1, 2019 in Ottawa. Adrian Wylde/The Canadian Press

Four Conservative members of Parliament say they want former Quebec premier Jean Charest to enter the race for the party’s leadership.

In an open letter published Tuesday, the MPs say Charest is the best person to defeat the Liberals and lead the relaunch of Canada’s economy.

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Charest, 63, became leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1993, after he was one of two MPs from that party elected while former prime minister Kim Campbell was dealt a humiliating electoral defeat.

Charest later left federal politics to become leader of the Quebec Liberal Party.

Charest was premier of Quebec from 2003 to 2012, when his party was defeated in an early election he called following massive student protests.

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Since leaving politics, Charest has practised law, and has also been the subject of a multi-year investigation by Quebec’s anti-corruption police related to financing of the Quebec Liberal Party.

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Pierre Poilievre, an Ottawa-area member of Parliament, is the only confirmed candidate in the race for the Conservative leadership

The letter was signed by Quebec MPs Alain Rayes and Dominique Vien; Nova Scotia MP Rick Perkins; Ontario MP John Nater; New Brunswick Senator Percy Mockler; former MP David Sweet; Louis Léger, chief of staff to the premier of New Brunswick; and Leo Power, a former director of the Conservative Party’s fundraising arm.

 

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