Youth leader

Alain Rayes steps down as deputy leader of the Conservatives

OTTAWA — A Quebec Conservative has quit as deputy party leader because he says he wants to play a role in determining the party’s next leader.

Alain Rayes said in a statement that he wants the party to appoint a leader who showcases progressive values, a center-right economy and unites the party around a common goal of replacing Trudeau’s Liberals.

He says he plans to endorse a candidate, but does not mention any by name.

But wanting to get involved in the leadership race, Rayes says he has no choice but to resign from his positions which included that of party lieutenant in Quebec.

The race to replace Erin O’Toole as leader, after caucus members dumped him this week, began in earnest on Saturday when Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre announced his intention to run for the first place in the party.

The reshuffle with Rayes resulted in Bergen appointing Luc Berthold as Deputy Leader and Quebec Lieutenant.

In a statement Sunday, Bergen called Berthold a well-respected member of the caucus and said his experience would be an asset to the conservatives.

Bergen also thanked Rayes for his work and said she looked forward to continuing to work with him in the House of Commons to hold the Liberal government to account.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 6, 2022.