Carlos Leitao becomes latest Quebec Liberal to not seek re-election this fall

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Carlos Leitao, the MNA for the West Island riding of Robert-Baldwin — which covers the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough and Dollard-des-Ormeaux — said he made the decision to leave the National Assembly some time ago.  (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Carlos Leitao, the MNA for the West Island riding of Robert-Baldwin — which covers the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough and Dollard-des-Ormeaux — said he made the decision to leave the National Assembly some time ago. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Another high-profile Quebec Liberal has announced he will not be running for re-election on Oct. 3.

Carlos Leitao, the MNA for the West Island riding of Robert-Baldwin — which covers the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough and Dollard-des-Ormeaux — said he made the decision some time ago, fulfilling a promise he made to his family about his time at the National Assembly.

"My political life is over. I had promised my wife that I wouldn't be doing more than two mandates," he said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

Twice elected by strong majorities, the finance critic for the Liberal opposition served as finance minister between 2014 and 2018 under Philippe Couillard's government, overseeing a period of fiscal belt-tightening in Quebec and some major structural reforms to the health system. He was also president of the province's Treasury Board over that same time period.

"I'm proud of the work we accomplished," he said. "We left Quebec well equipped to deal with the pandemic."

Leitao says he will continue to remain active in the Liberal party and take advantage of the freedom of being out of the National Assembly to comment on current affairs.

A dozen elected members of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) have so far announced that they won't be running again, with Pierre Arcand, who represents the Mont-Royal—Outremont riding, being the latest before Leitao.

Party leader Dominique Anglade has dismissed the notion that their exits are symptoms of a reeling political party.

"Back in September, I met with my team, making sure I knew who was staying and who was leaving. These are things that were expected," Anglade said in mid-April.

"But at the end of the day, it's also an opportunity to renew the party."

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