Quebec senator quits Conservative Party after Poilievre win


A Quebec senator says Pierre Poilievre’s first week as Conservative leader left him “comfortable” with his decision to quit the party.

Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais supported former Quebec Premier Jean Charest in the recent leadership race and has not served on the Conservative Senators Caucus since 2019.

Dagenais said he disagreed with Poilievre’s support for last winter’s trucking convoy in Ottawa and his proposal to fire the governor of the Bank of Canada.

The senator says that’s why he decided to quit the party over the weekend following Poilievre’s massive victory, in which he found broad support in Quebec.

Dagenais says watching Poilievre’s raucous first press conference with reporters this week confirmed his decision to leave, comparing the performance to that of former US President Donald Trump.

He also calls it “unacceptable” that the Conservative Party sent a text message to constituency members of now independent MP Alain Rayes, who also quit the party after Poilievre’s victory.

The party has since apologized for sending the message, which has encouraged members to call on Rayes to step down.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 16, 2022.