Politics

Conservative leadership candidate Jean Charest tests positive for COVID-19

Charest, the former Quebec premier who announced his candidacy for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party Thursday, said on Twitter that his COVID-19 symptoms are mild, but that he would be campaigning from home for the next few days.

'I’ll be campaigning from home for the next few days,' says former Quebec premier

Jean Charest is seen during the launch of his campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party in Calgary on Thursday. The former premier of Quebec said Monday he had tested positive for COVID-19. (Oseremen Irete/CBC)

Jean Charest announced Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Charest, the former Quebec premier who announced his candidacy for the federal Conservative Party Thursday, said on Twitter that his symptoms are mild.

"I'll be campaigning from home for the next few days," he tweeted.

Charest launched his bid at a brewery in Calgary Thursday night. At least 100 supporters were at the campaign launch in Calgary. Most attendees were not wearing masks.

Mask guidelines were lifted in that province on March 1, along with capacity limits on large venues.

Charest spoke to a crowded room at a Calgary brewery during his campaign launch last Thursday. (Oseremen Irete/CBC)

Charest also hosted a meet-and-greet in Calgary the next morning.

"Out of an abundance of caution, if we were in close contact and you're not feeling well, please follow your local public health guidelines," he tweeted Monday.

Charest, 63, was the head of the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party from 1993 to 1998 and was a federal cabinet minister prior to that. He was premier of Quebec from 2003 until 2012, elected under the province's Liberal party.

Charest went on to work in the private sector after his time in politics. His work at the law firm McCarthy Tetrault included providing strategic advice to companies to help them lobby governments.

With files from The Canadian Press

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