Quebec senator already out of Tory caucus now quits party after Poilievre victory

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OTTAWA — A Quebec senator says Pierre Poilievre's first week as Conservative leader has left him "comfortable" with his decision to leave the party.

Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais had endorsed former Quebec premier Jean Charest in the recent leadership race, and hasn't sat in the Conservative senators caucus since 2019.

Dagenais says he disagreed with Poilievre's support of last winter's trucker convoy in Ottawa and his proposal to fire the governor of the Bank of Canada.

The senator says that's why he decided to leave the party over the weekend following Poilievre's massive victory, in which he found widespread support in Quebec.

Dagenais says watching Poilievre's raucous first press conference with reporters this week affirmed his decision to leave, comparing the performance to that of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

He also calls it "unacceptable" that the Conservative party sent a text message to members in the riding of now-Independent MP Alain Rayes, who also left the party after Poilievre's victory.

The party has since apologized for sending the message, which encouraged members to ask Rayes to resign.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press