Stakes have never been higher for next conservative leader
We both proudly served as ministers in Stephen Harper’s cabinet. Between the two of us, we served as Quebec lieutenants between the first conservative Government in 2006 until 2013. We were both elected and re-elected multiple times as Conservative MPs in rural ridings in Quebec.
We personally know how hard it is for Conservatives to win in Quebec. Without Quebec, it is so much harder for Conservatives to form a government.
We need a leader who can and will win in every part of this beautiful land. We need Albertans, Quebecers, Atlantic Canadians, and Northern Canadians in caucus and at the cabinet table, making sure that the federal government’s actions work for all parts of the country.
Jean Charest has the most impressive political résumé in Canada. He is the best candidate for the job of Prime Minister, bar none. He is a former Conservative federal cabinet minister, deputy Prime Minister, Conservative federal leader, not to mention the most electorally successful Quebec premier since WWII, with three consecutive governments.
In 1998, he was asked to save the country by leading Quebec’s federalist forces at a time when polls showed the majority of francophone Quebecers favoured separating from Canada. Everyone encouraged him along. The result? He beat the separatist forces time after time. When he left office in 2012, only a small minority of Quebecers wanted another referendum because he showed them that Canada and Quebec can work together to do great things.
Even before Jean Charest launched his leadership campaign, the Bloc Quebecois and their sovereigntist allies launched attacks on him. They showed everyone what they feared most: a Conservative party with a leader that can win in Quebec and who threatens their vision to split up the country.
Jean Charest is a fighter and a unifier. He’s a proven Conservative who wins using strong conservative policies such as families first, fiscal conservatism and a respect for our institutions. He unites, he gets things done and he wins. He doesn’t hyphenate conservatives, he finds solutions and he delivers results.
Justin Trudeau has done almost irreparable damage to our country. His policies alienate both the west and Quebec, making life less affordable for everyone all while doubling the national debt for future generations to pay back. Our great-grandchildren will be paying for Trudeau’s mess unless we get it under control.
Conservatives must be ready with a leader who can govern from day one. We don’t have years ahead of us. We need someone who is ready. Just this past week, the NDP threatened to bring down the government and force an election. Canadians can’t afford another surprise mandate for Trudeau’s liberals.
Conservatives can unite the country and deny Trudeau another mandate of high spending, high inflation, and fake virtue signalling.
But only with the right leader.
We are marking Jean Charest as our first choice, and we humbly ask that you consider doing the same for the good of our country.
Lawrence Cannon is the former MP for Pontiac, a former minister and Canada’s former ambassador to France. Christian Paradis is a former MP for Mégantic−L’Érable, a former minister and a former Quebec lieutenant.