Former premier Jean Charest under attack in election campaign

Leaders of the Parti Québécois and the Coalition Avenir Québec are ganging up on former premier Jean Charest and demanding that the current Liberal leader answer questions about Charest's record.

PQ Leader Pauline Marois and CAQ Leader François Legault target the Liberal Party’s record

Quebec's former premier Jean Charest was supposed to speak to reporters after a speech in Montreal, but cancelled at the last minute. (Radio-Canada)

Leaders of the PartiQuébécois and the Coalition AvenirQuébec are attacking former premier Jean Charest and demanding that the current Liberal leader answer questions about Charest's record.

"We are in deep trouble right now economically because of the nine years of the Liberal party,” said CAQ Leader François Legault.

PQ Leader Pauline Marois went after Charest for his record on corruption and for stalling the creation of the Charbonneau Commission.

“It’s the same team standing by Mr. Couillard’s side today,” Marois said.

Over the weekend, the Liberal candidate in the riding of Portneuf, Michel Matte, revealed that several members of Charest's caucus asked him repeatedly behind closed doors to launch a commission of inquiry into corruption.

He said they were overruled several times before Charest finally relented.

Marois said 18 of Couillard's current candidates were cabinet ministers under Charest.

“It's normal to ask some Mr. Couillard some questions. These ministers voted against the corruption inquiry into construction industry when they were at the power level."

Philippe Couillard left politics in 2008 but returned to the Liberal fold, becoming the party leader in 2013. He told reporters he's not interested in going back to the last provincial election campaign.

“This question is part of a subject that was discussed in the 2012 election,” Couillard said, adding that the Liberal government did eventually create the Charbonneau commission.

Charest avoids reporters

Charest was supposed to speak to reporters Monday after a luncheon speech in Montreal, but he cancelled the question period at the last minute saying his schedule was too busy.

The former premier ducked reporters, and left via the hotel kitchen.

“I think we can assume that Mr. Couillard asked Mr. Charest to keep quiet,” Legault said.

Couillard said his opponents are losing against him, so they're trying to campaign against Jean Charest instead.