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Conservative MP Alain Rayes rises to question the government on Nov. 29, 2021 in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

A Quebec MP says an apology from the Conservative Party for trying to get his constituents to demand his resignation over his departure from the caucus falls short because it was not directed to him personally.

However, Alain Rayes, a Tory Quebec lieutenant under leaders Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole, sounded a conciliatory note on Thursday, saying he is willing to move on after the Tories said they were sorry for sending texts that urged party members in Richmond-Arthabaska to ask him to quit.

Mr. Rayes, who has represented the riding since 2015, announced on Tuesday that he would sit as an independent due to the confrontational style of politics associated with the new leader, Pierre Poilievre. Mr. Rayes had preferred former Quebec premier Jean Charest in last weekend’s leadership vote.

On Wednesday night, the party tweeted: “The Conservative Party of Canada apologizes for an automated text message sent out earlier today to party members in the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska.”

Party president Robert Batherson referred questions to the office of Mr. Poilievre on Thursday, but representatives of the leader did not respond to queries from The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Rayes issued his own statement: “I have seen the Conservative Party’s apology on its Twitter account on Wednesday evening which, I note, was not directed at me personally.

Opinion: Alain Rayes departs Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives with a sour taste

“I will let the population judge their message. For my part, I am happy that this chapter is now behind me so that I can fully resume fulfilling my role as Member of Parliament for the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska,” he said.

“For me, bullying in any form is unacceptable. I will never hesitate to denounce it vehemently.”

He said he would work with his supporters to bring back a “healthy political and social climate.”

In 2021, Mr. Rayes won the riding with 49.9 per cent of the vote, compared with 24.8 per cent for his nearest rival, the Bloc Québécois candidate.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the situation was unprecedented.

“I can’t imagine what’s going on in the Conservative Party that that’s what their priority is at a time like this, when people are faced with the cost of living going up,” Mr. Singh told journalists in Ottawa.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, a Quebec MP, accused Mr. Poilievre of inciting harassment in the Rayes matter.

“It’s a lack of respect toward people and toward democracy and, frankly, it shows a lack of judgment,” Ms. Joly said as she arrived for a House of Commons sitting at which members paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth.

On Thursday, Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais, who left the Conservative caucus in the Senate in 2019 said he was leaving the party as well over Mr. Poilievre.

Opinion: Can Pierre Poilievre finally make the Tories a contender in Quebec?

“The values conveyed by Mr. Poilievre and the image he exudes are contrary to my principles,” he said in a statement. “His positions on our institutions like Bank of Canada, the Davos summit, his promotion of bitcoin and his attitude during the blockade of Wellington Street in Ottawa with a group of conspirators do not correspond to my values.”

He said the leader’s “Donald Trump press conference” this week convinced him to go. On Tuesday, Mr. Poilievre’s representatives said he would respond on Parliament Hill to an affordability announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but not take questions.

Global News chief correspondent David Akin objected as Mr. Poilievre began to speak. The opposition leader called the veteran journalist a “Liberal heckler who’s snuck in here today.” Mr. Akin has apologized for his actions.

New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative education minister, Dominic Cardy, also criticized the federal leader over the news conference.

Mr. Cardy, who supported Mr. Charest, urged fellow Conservatives to defend a free press. “This attack on @davidakin is what I’d expect from Hungarian thug Orbán , not the leader of a mainstream Canadian political party,” Mr. Cardy wrote in a tweet. “If we don’t defend our institutions, they won’t be there to defend us.”

He was referring to Victor Orbán, prime minister of Hungary since 2010, who has been criticized over issues such as press freedom, and judicial independence.

With a report from Janice Dickson