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Denis Coderre confirms he will run for Quebec Liberal Party leadership

Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre takes part in a debate with Mayor Valérie Plante, Wednesday, September 29, 2021 in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz) Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre takes part in a debate with Mayor Valérie Plante, Wednesday, September 29, 2021 in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
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Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre has confirmed he will run for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ).

He confirmed the news on Friday "after touring 15 regions of Quebec over the past few months to consult with the population, as well as completing a 300 km reflection walk on the Chemin de Compostelle" in northwestern Spain.

"The issues we're facing right now are too important to go in with the flavour of the month or inexperienced people," he said in a statement. "We need people who have the political experience, vision and energy to stand on their own two feet."

The 60-year-old says he plans to run in the riding of Bellechasse on Quebec City's South Shore in the next provincial election. 

Coderre already boasts experience at the federal and municipal levels.

He was first elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1997 with the federal Liberals in the riding of Bourassa in Montreal.

He served as immigration minister from 2002 to 2003.

In 2013, Coderre resigned from federal politics to run for mayor of Montreal, a position he held until 2017 when he lost the race to current mayor Valérie Plante.

He ran again for mayor in 2021 but was defeated by Plante.

"I've worked at the federal and municipal levels and I'm now ready to contribute to the provincial scene," Coderre said. "I'm running because I'm convinced I can help the party regain its place in the hearts of Quebecers."

As part of his campaign, Coderre says he plans to visit the province's 125 ridings to recruit new party members.

He points to water protection, municipal powers and countering sovereignty as his main priorities.

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