Liberal party pushes out MNA Francois Ouimet
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:04AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:56AM EDT
Longtime Liberal MNA Francois Ouimet has been asked not to run in the upcoming election, and he's not happy about it
The confirmation of Ouimet's candidacy in the riding was supposed to take place on Wednesday.
Instead he held a tearful news conference where he expressed his disappointment in the decision taken by party officials.
Ouimet, who has represented the riding of Marquette since 1994, said over the summer that he would be running again in the upcoming election, and that Premier Couillard confirmed with Ouimet in May that his candidacy would be accepted.
"He looked me in the eyes, shook my hand, and promised," said Ouimet. "I took his word."
But now the Liberal party has asked Ouimet to make way for a yet-to-be-named candidate, although there are reports it would be former Montreal Canadiens hockey player Enrico Ciccone.
"I won't hide that the measures taken in the last few days are hurtful, for me and my family," said Ouimet, adding that he was caught off guard.
Couillard said that the decision to remove Ouimet was difficult, but was necessary to renew the party.
"We are now facing a situation where we have many, many candidacies of very high value and a limited number of ridings. So at each election these types of decisions unfortunately must be taken. It's not a judgment on the value of a person. It's the way I have to fulfill my responsibilities as a party leader," said Couillard.
Ouimet is currently the deputy speaker and has sat on many committees during his time in office, including being chair of the Territorial Planning Committee, and served as opposition critic in education, justice, and government services.
The Marquette riding covers Dorval, Dorval Island, and Lachine.