Bloc leader slams potential Jean Charest Tory bid

Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet rises during Question Period, Wednesday, February 16, 2022 in Ottawa. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

If former Quebec premier Jean Charest runs for the leadership of the federal Conservatives, it would be a “check from behind” to all Quebecers, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said Tuesday.

Blanchet, in response to reports Charest is considering a run to replace Erin O’Toole as Tory leader, told reporters that some hockey players are good with the puck while others will play dirty and hit you from behind.

Read more: Jean Charest to discuss Conservative party leadership with Tory MPs

The Bloc leader says it was Charest who linked Quebec’s cap-and-trade system with California’s in 2014, as part of the Western Climate Initiative.

Blanchet says the federal Tories have been the “worst enemies” to that system of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and he questioned why Charest would want to have anything to do with the Conservatives.

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Click to play video: 'Former Quebec premier Jean Charest looks back on 1995 referendum'
Former Quebec premier Jean Charest looks back on 1995 referendum

Charest, Quebec premier from 2003 to 2012, has not officially announced a leadership bid, but he is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Ottawa with Conservative MPs at an event hosted by two who want him to run.

Quebec MP Alain Rayes and Nova Scotia’s Rick Perkins arranged the event after several MPs and senators expressed an interest in speaking with Charest, a spokesperson for Rayes’s office said Monday.

Read more: Quebec’s anti-corruption unit drops probe into Liberal Party’s financing after 8 years

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