One of the Couillard government’s heavyweights, Minister Martin Coiteux, confirmed Friday in Montreal that he will not stand in the next election.
During a press conference with his wife Monica, the throat sometimes tied, at times with tears in his eyes, he claimed to leave politics “for reasons that are personal, without the slightest bitterness and with the feeling of accomplished duty “.
The Minister of Public Safety and Municipal Affairs indicated that he did not know at this time whether he would return to university education or what he would do next. “I do not know; I do not have a game plan, “he said.
“I want to do another life than political life. My game plan is not to redo politics, “he said. He added that at age 56, there was still time for him to “do something else,” perhaps to embrace a different career.
Asked if he was leaving the politics because of the polls, which show that the victory of the Liberal Party is far from over, on October 1, the member for Nelligan flatly denied. “I did not show up on the polls any more than I decided to leave based on polls,” he replied, adding that when he ran in 2014, the polls predicted a Parti Québécois-led government.
When we asked him if it did not make him a little pinch the heart to see the Liberal government reinvest in many missions of the State, today, he who had the thankless role of slashing and balancing public finances for years, he said no.
“It would have been impossible to do what we are doing today without restoring the health of the public finances. I was born in 1962. In my lifetime, I have never known a situation where Quebec had a better credit rating than Ontario. […] It allows us to do things that were unimaginable in 2014. In this sense, even if it was difficult, even if it required decisions that were not simple, we harvest the fruits today, “he admitted.
His departure will surprise many, because Minister Coiteux was not one of the deputies and ministers who said they were thinking about their political future.
In a morning scrum in Montreal, Premier Philippe Couillard “thanked him for his outstanding contribution to Quebec”, particularly “in the Quebec relationship with the municipalities”.
The departure of Mr. Coiteux is added to a long list of Liberal MPs and ministers who will not be in the ranks on October 1st.
Mr. Coiteux is the third minister of the government, after Stéphanie Vallée and Jean-Marc Fournier, to choose not to pursue his political career.
The departure of the President of the National Assembly, Jacques Chagnon, is also taken for granted in the liberal ranks, even if he has not yet announced it officially.
At least two other ministers are still in the discussion: Laurent Lessard (Agriculture) and Geoffrey Kelly (Aboriginal Affairs).
Liberal MPs who have already announced that they would not seek another term are: Guy Hardy (Saint-François), Karine Vallières (Richmond), Pierre Reid (Orford), André Drolet (Jean-Lesage), Ghislain Bolduc (Mégantic), Raymond Bernier (Montmorency), Michel Matte (Portneuf) and Germain Chevarie (Magdalen Islands).
Having lost his constituency because of the redrawing of the electoral map, Pierre Giguère (Saint-Maurice) will not be in the ranks either.
Recently banned from the Liberal caucus because of allegations of sexual misconduct, Yves St-Denis (Argenteuil) will not wear the colors of the PLQ in October.
In 2014, Martin Coiteux, a top economist, was one of the PLQ’s star candidates. From the time of the government’s election, he was appointed to the influential position of President of the Conseil du trésor, where he had to negotiate hard with the public and parapublic sectors. Against all odds, he managed to reach an agreement with the inter-union common front.
He then held a dual position at Municipal Affairs and Public Safety, where he had to deal with the Highway 13 storm of snowstorm and quagmire, in addition to the spring 2017 floods in a number of areas. Quebec cities.