Jean Charest says he’s finished with politics

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest says he wants to put an end to any speculation that he might return to political life — on either a provincial or federal level.

Former Quebec premier said 'never say never' on CBC's Daybreak earlier in August

Following the interview with CBC Daybreak, Charest said he received an outpouring of both good and bad reactions to the idea of his return to politics. (CBC)

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest says he wants to put an end to any speculation that he might return to political life — on either a provincial or federal level.

“There is no one who sees me returning to political life, especially me… and above all my wife,” Charest told Le Devoir newspaper. “Honestly, I don’t miss politics at all.”

Charest was responding to speculation that he might consider another run at politics after an interview on CBC Daybreak earlier in August, when he said it was unlikely — but not impossible — that he would seek elected office again.

“Well, you never say never, but I have no regrets. I feel I did the best I could in the time I was there. It was a great experience. I had 28 years,” Charest told Daybreak’s Mike Finnerty at the time. “Again, you never say never because you don’t know what life will put in front of you, but I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. I’m with McCarthy Tétrault [law firm] and I love the work I’m doing."

Following the interview with Daybreak, Charest said he received an outpouring of both good and bad reactions to the idea of his return to politics. 

"This is the answer I gave because I found it to be the most honest,” Charest told Le Devoir.

Since being ousted at the ballot box nearly two years ago, the former Liberal premier has been working in international law and has been outspoken on the need for a free trade deal between Canada and the European Union.

"I feel lucky because I made a good choice. I travel a lot... maybe too much,” said Charest.

After losing his seat in his home riding of Sherbrooke in the 2012 provincial elections, Charest announced he would leave political life.

Charest was the leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1993 to 1998, and was the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 1998 to 2012.


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