Quebec Conservative MP Alain Rayes is leaving the Conservative caucus over Pierre Poilievre winning the leadership of the federal party.
Mr. Rayes, who supported former Quebec premier Jean Charest in the leadership race, announced Tuesday that he will sit as an independent, and that he had informed the Speaker of his decision.
In a statement, Mr. Rayes said he remains a “proud Progressive Conservative” and will continue to serve constituents in the Richmond-Arthabaska riding he first won in 2015.
“I respect the choice made by members of the Conservative Party of Canada in the last leadership race. However, some of my political ideals, values and convictions are not compatible with the new path undertaken by our political formation,” Mr. Rayes said in a statement.
“I leave without bitterness and I remain driven by the deep desire to continue to serve the population on the political scene, and this, with the same rigour, passion and dedication as usual,” said the former mayor of the central Quebec town of Victoriaville.
There’s a full story here.
ALSO, FEDERAL HOLIDAY TO MARK QUEEN’S FUNERAL - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Sept. 19 - the day of the Queen’s state funeral - will be a federal holiday . He announced the plan at a news conference in St. Andrews, N.B., where the federal Liberal caucus is holding a retreat. Federal employees will have the day off. He said his government is talking to the provinces and territories to see whether they are aligned on the topic. Bloc Québécois Whip Claude DeBellefeuille said, in response, that his party disputes the view that federal services should be closed for the day, and the party will keep their constituency offices open. “Like the vast majority of Quebecers, we will go to work on Monday,” he said in a statement.
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PM ANNOUNCES $5B AFFORDABILITY PLAN - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a $5-billion package of income-tested measures aimed at helping Canadians in need with the higher cost of living while insisting that the injection of new cash into the economy will not make inflation worse. Story here.
OTTAWA MAY BE UNABLE TO RECOUP $5B IN EMERGENCY LOANS - Ottawa may be unable to recoup $5-billion or more of the $49-billion in emergency loans it extended to small businesses during the pandemic lockdowns, according to a government projection. Story here.
TORONTO POLICE OFFICER KILLED - A Toronto police officer who was on his lunch break from training in neighbouring Mississauga was shot and killed at close range during what was described as an unprovoked attack – the first in a string of shootings that also left two others dead, including the suspect, and three people injured. Story here.
AIR CONDITIONING SHOULD BE A HUMAN RIGHT: COALITION - A broad coalition on climate adaptation and disaster resilience says air conditioning should become a human right on par with winter heating – one of a series of hard targets it says Canada needs to meet in the next few years as climate change impacts increase. Story here.
QUEBEC ELECTION - Several of Quebec’s major party leaders say newly appointed Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki needs to learn French. Story here. Also, Quebec’s capacity to accept immigrants is limited by its need to protect the French language, Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault said Monday after facing criticism on the issue from federal Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez. Story here.
SILVER DISCUSSES EXIT - Yukon’s Liberal Premier Sandy SIlver elaborates here in a CBC interview on his plans to exit territorial politics.
THIS AND THAT
COMMONS NOT SITTING – The House of Commons is not sitting again until Thursday at 10 a.m. when MPs will pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth. Beyond that, the opening of the session after the summer break will be delayed one day to Sept. 20.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM - Pierre Poilievre, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Opposition House Leader, has named his leadership team in the House of Commons. They are:
-House Leader: Andrew Scheer.
-Deputy House Leader: Luc Berthold.
-Whip: Kerry-Lynne Findlay.
-Deputy Whip and Question Period Coordinator: Chris Warkentin
-Quebec Lieutenant: Pierre-Paul Hus
-Caucus-Party Liaison: Eric Duncan.
-Caucus-Committee Coordinator: Jake Stewart.
NG ON THE ROAD -International Trade Minister Mary Ng is going to be on the road between Wednesday and Sept. 23, attending meetings with her G7 counterparts in Germany through to Thursday, then her counterparts at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations between Sept. 17 and 18, and G2 counterparts in Indonesia from Sept. 21 to 23.
Tuesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features Lisa Noonan and Filomena Bilotta of the Canadian Savings group on Facebook talking about how you can push back against your ever-rising grocery bill. The savings group teaches its 100,000+ members how to fight back against inflation in the grocery store. The discussion comes as inflation for groceries rose in July to 9.9 per cent. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in St. Andrews, N.B., for the national Liberal caucus retreat attended private meetings, participated in the retreat, made an announcement on affordability and took media questions as he did.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves François Blanchet, participated in the Montreal hearing of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec on Tuesday.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre responded, on Parliament Hill, to the affordability plan announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in New Brunswick, and took two media questions.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Thunder Bay, met with workers at Alstom Thunder Bay, which is making 60 streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission, and was scheduled to make an announcement about dental care.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how Pierre Poilievre will have to find the political centre or conjure up a new one to become PM: “It doesn’t matter how big of a majority you run up in Saskatchewan, there are still only 14 seats up for grabs. But Toronto and the suburban 905 belt have scores of seats, and the Conservatives in 2019 and 2021 were uncompetitive in all but a handful. Mr. Poilievre and his team have three years to figure out how to change that. Other conservatives have: Ontario’s Doug Ford was elected and re-elected Premier by winning over big chunks of suburban voters. Mr. Ford found his political middle. Some of what Mr. Ford has done – like the appeal to working-class voters – offers a model for Mr. Poilievre. But on the most important issue of the last couple of years, the two men are on very different paths. Mr. Ford earned respect from Ontarians by repeatedly ignoring and isolating the anti-vaxxers. Rather than feeding them, he called them yahoos. He booted them from caucus. Mr. Ford was re-elected to a majority because, when it came to tackling the pandemic, he joined Team Mainstream. Mr. Poilievre made a different choice. He won the federal Conservative leadership by becoming head cheerleader of Team Fringe.”
Darrel J. McLeod (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how King Charles can re-envision the Crown-Indigenous relationship: “In my books, Elizabeth as a monarch and simply as a human being didn’t attain the greatness she could have. As the head of state, obviously, she was hampered by the legal framework that defined her role – in our case, the Constitution of Canada. That being said, there are things she could have done, but failed to do: an apology for all the wrongs her ancestors committed in the process of colonization; reparation to Indigenous peoples in Canada through the establishment of a foundation for culture and language maintenance and restoration; the repatriation of valuable artifacts and assets stolen or usurped from former colonies; the establishment of educational initiatives within Britain about its history of colonization in Canada, and about First Nations current affairs and history – to ensure that Brits are all aware of their colonial past and of the need for reparation by their aristocrats and institutions.”
Tom Rachman (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on Brits struggling with their emotions after losing the Queen: “A better clue to British dismay emerges from how mourners speak of the Queen: It’s so personal. “She was there all my life, and long before, and a reassuring presence, reliably and consistently bland,” a born-Londoner, now based abroad, told me. “The Queen was a link with a different Britain which has now vanished, but which was part of my past as well.” Here we approach an explanation: Queen Elizabeth was a manifestation of their common story, of antiquated ways, dissolving slowly from view – then, one day, just gone. She presided when you stuck her stamp on intimate letters (but who corresponds with envelopes any more?). Her metallic profile clinked in your palm when you’d collected enough for a treat from the shop (though you buy groceries with a plastic rectangle now).”
Don Braid (The Calgary Herald) on how UCP leadership candidates would love a friendly plug from Pierre Poilievre: “A new prize dances before the starry eyes of UCP leadership candidates — Pierre Poilievre’s endorsement. For Danielle Smith, the ultimate jackpot would be the new federal Conservative leader’s approval of her Sovereignty Act proposal. It’s a faint hope. In UCP leadership campaigns there’s not much expectation that Poilievre will take sides either on the Act or who should be the next premier. He’s now a national leader with serious hopes of becoming prime minister. Despite his Alberta roots and sympathies, he has to think of reactions across the country. But Poilievre is also the most powerful voice and symbol of Alberta conservatism. Anything he says could have an impact on UCP members still voting in advance of the Oct. 6 count.”
Andre Pratté (The Montreal Gazette) on the gloomy end of Jean Charest’s political life: “We all hugely overestimated Charest’s reputation within the party and in Canada in general. And we underestimated the age factor. Many party members knew little about Charest. Like many of us in our 60s, he wears grey hair and has gained weight. No amount of political skills could counter the perception that Charest was a man of the past, a “walking political zombie,” as one columnist wrote cruelly. This was exemplified by his failed landing on social media at the beginning of the campaign. During our discussions about the platform, Charest often referred to his time as premier of Quebec and his days as Conservative leader. We all become nostalgic when we age, don’t we? But the race was about the present and the future, not about what had been. We knew that; did any of us have the guts to tell him to his face that party activists were not looking for an elder statesman but for someone who could channel their anger and address their day-to-day challenges? Not I.”