MONTREAL — One of the heavy weights of the government Couillard, minister Martin Coiteux, confirmed Friday in Montreal that he would not run in the next elections.
During a press conference beside his wife, Monica, the throat sometimes knotted, at times with tears in her eyes, he said to leave the policy “for reasons that are personal, without any bitterness and with a feeling of accomplishment”.
The minister of public Safety and municipal Affairs has indicated that he did not know, for the moment, he returned to the university education, or what he would do after. “I don’t know; I don’t have a game plan,” he said.
“I want to make a life other than the life policy. My game plan, this is not to repeat the policy,” he started. He added that at 56 years of age, there was still time for him to “do something else”, kissing may be a different career.
Not the polls
When asked whether he was leaving politics because of the polls, which show that the victory of the liberal Party is far from being acquired, the 1st of October, the member for Nelligan has categorically denied. “I am not presented according to the polls, not that I have decided to leave according to the polls,” he answered, adding that when he was presented, in 2014, the polls were predicting a government led by the Parti québécois.
When we asked him if it made him not a little pinch in the heart to see the liberal government to reinvest in many of the tasks of the State, today, he who had the role ungrateful to slash and balance the public finances during the years, he has answered “no”.
“It would have been impossible to do what we’re doing today without having restored the health of public finances. I was born in 1962. In my lifetime, I’ve never experienced a situation where Quebec had a better credit rating than that of Ontario. […] It allows us to do things that were unimaginable in 2014. In this sense, even if it was difficult, even if it has required decisions that were not simple, it is reaping the fruits today,” he admitted.
His departure will surprise you, because the minister Coiteux was not part of the mps and ministers have indicated that they were thinking about their political future.
During a media scrum in the morning in Montreal, the prime minister Philippe Couillard has “thanked him for his remarkable contribution to Quebec,” particularly “in the relationship of Québec with the municipalities”.
The departure of Mr. Coiteux adds to a long list of liberal members of parliament and ministers who will not be on the ranks on the 1st of October.
Mr. Coiteux is the third government minister, after Stéphanie Vallée and Jean-Marc Fournier, to choose not to continue his political career.
The departure of the president of the national Assembly, Jacques Chagnon, is also taken for granted in the ranks of liberals, even if it has not yet officially announced.
At least two other ministers are always in reflection : Laurent Lessard (Agriculture) and Geoffrey Kelly (aboriginal Affairs).
The liberal members of parliament who have already announced they will not seek another mandate are the following : 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 (Îles-de-la-Madeleine).
Having lost his district due to the redistricting of the electoral map, Pierre Giguère (Saint-Maurice) will not be on the ranks either.
Kicked out of the liberal caucus recently due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Yves St-Denis (Argenteuil) will not bear the colors of the QLP in October.
In 2014, Martin Coiteux, an economist from the top flight, was one of the star candidates of the QLP. At the election of the government, he had acceded to the influential position of president of the treasury Board, where he had had to conduct a difficult negotiation with the public and parapublic sectors. Against all odds, he managed to conclude an agreement with the common front union.
Then, he has accumulated a dual function, in municipal Affairs, and public Safety, where he has had to manage the episode of the snow storm and the morass of Highway 13, in addition to the floods in the spring of 2017 in several cities of Quebec.
LEHOUILLIER INCENSES THE MINISTER
A minister to the listener. A minister who leads the battles necessary, even if they are difficult. The mayor of Lévis, Gilles Lehouillier, has welcomed Friday, Martin Coiteux, a holder of municipal Affairs and public Security of Quebec, who will soon announce his withdrawal from political life at the end of this first and unique mandate.
“This is probably the minister, in those that I have seen up to now, the listener in the municipal world. When we meet, he listens to us and he told us : it will not be a folder that is easy, but we’re going to attack. It is not the guys who drop their arms. It is extraordinary to work with a minister like Mr. Coiteux”, responded spontaneously to the mayor Lehouillier when he was asked about the imminent departure.
The elected municipal representative has evoked fond memories of brainstorming sessions with his vis-à-vis the provincial level. “He has the gift to explain the limits on governmental level, but at the same time, there was always this opening,” said Mr. Lehouillier. He recognizes the merit of having adopted the first law on the governments of proximity. Beyond the principles that it contains, the politician lévisien there are several “tools” and “means of action” to strengthen quebec municipalities. “Such a step would not have been possible if we had not had a minister as strong as Mr. Coiteux”, concludes Gilles Lehouillier. Annie Morin