QUEBEC – Jean-Marc Fournier, longtime Quebec Liberal who held a series of prominent positions in the party including as interim leader, announced Monday he won’t be seeking re-election when Quebecers go to the polls in October.
Fournier told a news conference in Quebec City he’ll be leaving politics at the end of the Liberals’ current mandate after having fought eight elections — seven provincial and one federal — over 30 years.
“It’s without a doubt a time for change for me and for new faces for the Quebec Liberal Party, where I worked with passion and enthusiasm during all these years,” Fournier said.
He held a number of cabinet positions since he was first elected to the legislature in 1994 including minister of education, municipal affairs, justice and revenue.
Fournier also helped the Liberals transition from the leadership of Jean Charest after the party lost the 2012 elections.
He was named interim leader and guided the party as the official opposition to the Parti Quebecois before Philippe Couillard took over in 2013 and won the provincial elections the following year.
Fournier, 58, is the current minister for Canadian relations and the Canadian francophonie as well as government house leader.
He briefly left provincial politics in 2008, saying he needed a break, returning in 2010 to represent the Montreal riding of Saint-Laurent.
Before entering provincial politics, Fournier worked with the Liberal Party of Canada in several roles and was the defeated candidate for the party in the 1988 election for the federal riding of Chateauguay.
Fournier joins five other Liberal members who’ve officially announced they wouldn’t seek re-election, including fellow cabinet colleague Stephanie Vallee, the current justice minister.