Quebec MP Alain Rayes, who quit the federal Conservative party after Pierre Poilievre won the leadership, says he’s being harassed because some constituents want him to resign since he ditched the party he was elected under.
As The Counter Signal previously reported, he is the first politician to abandon ship after Poilievre dealt a crushing blow to the party’s progressive faction on Saturday when he was crowned leader of the Conservatives on the first ballot.
Rayes now sits as an Independent MP for Richmond-Arthabaska riding. In the one day since he quit, he said he’s being harassed for not wanting to be a part of Poilievre’s Conservatives.
He said he received a text message asking him to call his riding office and demand his resignation because “he has decided not to fight Trudeau’s inflation with Pierre Poilievre’s united team.”
Rayes said he believes the text was sent to all members of his local Conservative riding association. The message borders harassment, he said.
“They’re telling people, ‘Call him and fill up his voicemail with demands to resign.’ It’s not up to a few members to decide if I resign or not, that’s up to me or, during an election, the people will decide,” he told Radio-Canada.
The MP also said his voicemail is being flooded with messages. He claims he can’t get in touch with his employees or do his job properly.
Rayes was given the glorified title of “Quebec lieutenant” by O’Toole during the former leader’s failed reign.
After the Conservative party caucus gave O’Toole the boot, Rayes left the role to support former leader of the Quebec Liberals Jean Charest in his attempt to become Tory leader.
Poilievre won the leadership race on Saturday with 68% of the ballot. Charest got a measly 16%.
He announced he would abandon the party on Tuesday in a statement.
“I have just informed the Speaker of the House of Commons that I am leaving the Conservative caucus in order to sit as an independent MP. I remain a proud Progressive Conservative and I will continue to serve my constituents of the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska with determination,” said Rayes.
“I respect the choice made by members of the Conservative Party of Canada in the last leadership race. However, some of my political ideals, values and convictions are not compatible with the new path undertaken by our political formation.”