The former interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), Pierre Arcand, is leaving politics.
The member of the national assembly (MNA) will officially announce on Monday that he will not seek re-election.
A spokesman for the Liberal Party confirmed the news to French newspaper La Presse on Sunday. The official announcement as well as the name of the party’s next candidate in the riding of Mont-Royal–Outremont in Montreal will be announced on Monday.
Arcand is retiring after a 15-year political career on the provincial scene. He was elected as a Liberal for the first time in 2007 in that same riding.
He is the eleventh Liberal out of a caucus of 27 MNAs to announce their departure. Former ministers Lise Thériault, Christine St-Pierre and Hélène David are among the other departures.
Before entering politics in 2007, Arcand had a career in radio. He was a journalist, station owner and president of Corus Québec.
In politics, he held several positions in the Charest and Couillard governments. He was President of the Treasury Board, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister of International Relations.
For a year and a half he held the role of interim Liberal Party leader, between the departure of Philippe Couillard and the appointment of Dominique Anglade.
The politician spearheaded the agreement between Quebec and France on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications in 2009. He also adopted Bill 89 in 2011, which amended the Environment Quality Act to introduce a new system of financial penalties.
In December 2020, Arcand apologized after taking a controversial trip to Barbados, despite the COVID-19 health crisis.
In another recent controversy in April, Arcand said he was shaken by a remark Premier François Legault was caught saying on a closed microphone, asking “isn’t he dead?” when talking about Arcand.
In his interview with La Presse, he said he is leaving politics to have more freedom and more time with his family.