CAQ MNA resigns, will run for Tories in federal election

Quebec City –

The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) government whip and MNA for Arthabaska, Eric Lefebvre, is leaving the party to run for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party in the next federal election.

He will sit as an independent in the meantime.

“I have tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister, as I will be running for the Conservative Party of Canada in the next federal election,” he wrote in a post on X Tuesday evening.

“I will now sit as an independent MNA, and will continue my work for the citizens of Arthabaska. Thank you to my colleagues and collaborators for all these wonderful years.”

In a post on X, CAQ leader François Legault wrote: “Éric Lefebvre informed me this evening of his decision to join the Conservative Party of Canada. I have therefore asked him to withdraw from the CAQ caucus. Thank you Éric for your years of public service and good luck in your new challenges.”

This is the second elected CAQ member to leave the caucus since the last election in 2022. Joëlle Boutin, MNA for Jean-Talon in Quebec City, resigned last July, citing family reasons. She joined the Levio consulting firm.

As Boutin left her seat vacant, a by-election had to be held. The CAQ lost the Jean-Talon riding to the Parti québécois. As Lefebvre becomes an independent MNA, there will be no by-election to replace him, at least for the time being.

While the CAQ has been floundering in the polls for several months, Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives have been flying high in the polls. However, they are lagging behind in Quebec, where they are in third place behind the Bloc Québécois and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, according to poll aggregator 338Canada.

Lefebvre already tried his luck with the federal Conservatives in 2008 in the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska. He was defeated by Bloc member André Bellavance.

Lefebvre was first elected in the provincial riding of Arthabaska in 2016 in a by-election. He was then re-elected in the same riding in 2018 and 2022.

Prior to that, he was a Victoriaville city councillor from 2001 to 2009.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 16, 2024. 

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