The more the days pass, the more it is clear that nothing will be easy for Jean Charest in his quest to become leader of the Conservative Party, then Prime Minister of Canada.
The announcement of his candidacy did not arouse the enthusiasm of the crowds, to say the least.
No ! Not him ! Pinch me! Tell me it’s a bad dream! This is what a number of comments say after each column devoted to him.
- Listen to Joseph Facal’s editorial on Benoit Dutrizac’s show broadcast live every day at 10:30 a.m. via QUB-radio :
These comments are not a scientific sample, but they are in line with a Léger poll two years ago which revealed that 72% of Quebecers had retained a bad impression of his years in Quebec politics.
The hard core of his “fan club” is made up of PLQ deputies from another era, worn out to the core, who hope for a casual appointment in the federal apparatus if he becomes prime minister, and Conservative deputies from Quebec tired of playing on the fourth line.
His contortions on Bill 21 don’t help either.
He suggests to the Quebec audience that he understands his support for this law, and he suggests to the audience in English Canada…that he understands his rejection of this law.
He may consider himself lucky that the Mâchurer investigation into the financing of the PLQ has been closed, but that does not silence the ramdam of the pots he drags along.
If it is true that justice cannot rely on rumors and impressions, political life can.
And his miseries don’t end there.
The times have changed. Today, politicians are being asked for unprecedented transparency.
Talk to Denis Coderre who paid a heavy price for his reluctance to disclose his private sector activities during his years out of politics.
the Newspaper wanted to know more about Mr. Charest’s clients and mandates during his years at the McCarthy Tétrault law firm.
Yesterday, the Newspaper reported the fun game of ping-pong between the Charest team and the firm.
Mr. Charest’s press secretary returned the ball to the firm, but the firm did not answer the questions of the Newspaper.
The main interested party, for the moment, does not want to say more than the little that is known.
It is his right since our laws do not force him to do so.
What is known? That he would have worked for the Chinese firm Huawei, for Windiga Energy, a company registered in Barbados, and for the oil company TransCanada, which he had every right to do.
Obviously, revealing everything would bring its share of questions. But not revealing more will raise its share of questions: a kind of ” damn if you do, damn if you don’t “.
Imagine: Justin Trudeau at the head of the PLC and Jean Charest at the head of the PC.
In 1917, in Fatima, Portugal, when the Virgin appeared before three young shepherds, she would have sighed: “Poor Canada”.