Bloc leader slams Jean Charest Conservative’s potential bid

OTTAWA — If former Quebec prime minister Jean Charest runs for federal Conservative leader, it will be a “back check” for all Quebecers, Québécois Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet said Tuesday.

Blanchet, in response to reports Charest was considering replacing 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.

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

Blanchet said the federal Tories had become the “worst enemy” of the greenhouse gas emission reduction system, and he questioned why Charest wanted anything to do with the Conservatives.

Charest, Prime Minister of Quebec from 2003 to 2012, has not officially announced an offer of leadership, but he is due to meet Wednesday in Ottawa with Conservative lawmakers at an event hosted by the two people he wants to run for.

Quebec lawmakers Alain Rayes and Rick Perkins of Nova Scotia arranged the event after several lawmakers and senators expressed interest in talking to Charest, a spokesman for Rayes’ office said Monday.

This Canadian Press report was first published on March 1, 2022.

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