(Quebec) Thunderblow in the skies of the Quebec Liberals: André Fortin will not be a candidate for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ). By declaring a lump, the member for Pontiac opens the way to Dominique Anglade, his alleged rival.
The Siver was able to confirm by sources close to Mr. Fortin that the latter had made his decision late last week. With two young children, two girls aged 3 and 5, Mr. Fortin decided that his family obligations would be difficult to match with those of a party leader. He remains MP for Pontiac, a constituency he has represented since 2014.
Fortin, 37, seemed to have a clear lead in the Liberal ranks in anticipation of Philippe Couillard’s succession race, a choice that activists will make in 2020.
Former political advisor to the late Jean Lapierre, then Minister of Transport in Ottawa, Mr. Fortin went into provincial politics in the 2014 elections. After a good while as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Carlos Leitao, he was appointed Minister transports. As such, he had passed a major overhaul of the Highway Safety Code.
With Dominique Anglade, former Minister of the Economy, Mr. Fortin was seen as the most likely candidate to become a Liberal leader. Several already compared him to Robert Bourassa, whose size he was. Since the elections of 1 st October, he was critical of his party on health issues. Already another big gun from the parliamentary wing, Sebastian Proulx, MP for Jean-Talon, has announced that he will not be in the PLQ leadership race either.
Open door for Anglade
In retiring from the race, Andre Fortin leaves the field open to Dominique Anglade, who has not hidden his interest in the leadership of the party. A victory for Ms. Anglade would for the first time reach a woman at the bar of the PLQ.
In addition, in all likelihood, the Parti Quebecois could also be led by a woman, Véronique Hivon. With Manon Masse as spokesman for Quebec Solidaire, Francois Legault could be the only man to participate in the televised debate of the leaders during the next election campaign.
Another possible candidate for the PLQ is Marwah Rizqy, a new Liberal MP from Saint-Laurent. Fortin may have assessed that the chances of the Liberals defeating the CAQ in four years were uncertain. He did not call La Presse back last night.