Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard to announce resignation Thursday

By The Canadian Press
October 3, 2018 - 4:30pm

Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard will announce that he is stepping down as leader in a meeting Thursday with  elected and defeated candidates, The Canadian Press has learned.

Elected premier in 2014, Couillard served one mandate before his Liberals were swept from office Monday by Francois Legault's Coalition Avenir Quebec.

Couillard said on election night that he would take a few days to reflect on his personal future.

Two reliable sources confirmed that he has decided to make way for a new leader. He is also expected to give up his seat in Roberval and leave politics.

The Liberal caucus will meet Friday to begin the process of naming an interim leader and set the groundwork for an eventual leadership race.

Gaetan Barrette, who was minister of health in the Liberal government, has already signalled his intention to seek the leadership, The Canadian Press has learned.

When the legislature was dissolved in August, the Liberals held 68 of 125 seats. After Monday, they hold just 32, and their 25 per cent share of the popular vote was their worst result ever.

Jocelyne Richer, The Canadian Press

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