Eric Lefebvre leaves the CAQ caucus

The chief whip of the government caucus, Eric Lefebvre, is leaving the CAQ to sit as an independent MP. He will be a Conservative candidate in the next federal election.

The member for Arthabaska made the announcement to CAQ elected officials Tuesday evening. “It is with emotion that I write to you as I have just submitted my resignation to the Prime Minister. I inform you that I will now sit as an independent MP. I am leaving the CAQ family to be a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada [PCC] during the next federal election,” he wrote to them.

He confirmed the news a few minutes later, on the social network announced that he would be a CCP candidate.

“Thank you Eric for your years of public service and good luck in your new challenges,” declared the Prime Minister, for whom this departure comes at a difficult time, where his party is plummeting in voting intentions, now dominated by the Parti Québécois of Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

Let us remember, however, that Mr. Lefebvre intends to continue to represent the citizens of the Arthabaska riding as an independent deputy.

For the moment, there is therefore no by-election in sight. We will have to watch how Mr. Lefebvre behaves from the moment he officially campaigns within Pierre Poilievre’s team of candidates.

It also remains to be seen who François Legault will appoint to replace Mr. Lefebvre as whip, a role which involves ensuring discipline and cohesion within a parliamentary group. In the Prime Minister’s entourage, on Tuesday evening, we limited ourselves to indicating that nothing has been decided and that he will take as long as necessary.

In May 2023, Mr. Lefebvre raised eyebrows by relying on the fact that he had only seen his mother once in the last year to justify the $30,000 salary increase granted. to the deputies of the National Assembly.

Municipal councilor of Victoriaville from 2001 to 2009, Eric Lefebvre was CEO of a company specializing in the manufacturing of roof trusses and beams until he was elected under the CAQ banner during a by-election on 5 December 2016.

New attempt

Mr. Lefebvre is not his first involvement with the Conservative Party of Canada. He tried his luck as a candidate in Richmond—Arthabaska in 2008, when the PCC was led by Stephen Harper. He was then beaten by Bloc leader André Bellavance.

The following year, he bit the dust again, this time as a candidate for mayor of Victoriaville, facing Alain Rayes, who won.

The latter has been, since 2015, federal deputy for Richmond—Arthabaska. Mr. Rayes left the PCC in September 2022. Pierre Poilievre’s clan immediately set to work to push him to resign, but without success. Mr. Rayes, who sits as an independent MP in Ottawa, intends to leave politics at the end of his mandate.

For François Legault’s CAQ, this is the second resignation to occur within his caucus since the last general election. Last summer, MP Joëlle Boutin made the decision to leave politics, which forced the holding of a by-election, largely won by the PQ Pascal Paradis.

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