Jean Charest to launch Conservative leadership bid Thursday, Radio-Canada sources say | CBC News

Jean Charest, the former Premier of Quebec, will be a candidate to succeed Erin O’Toole as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

He will make the official announcement on Thursday, two sources confirmed to Radio-Canada.

Earlier Monday, he won the endorsement of columnist Tasha Kheiriddin, who will not be running.

Kheiriddin was one of the anticipated candidates for the Conservative leadership race, but after careful consideration and discussions with Charest, she said he is best placed to advance their shared vision for the party.

She said the decision not to run was difficult but necessary, “so that we can really rebuild this big [Conservative] tent.”

“There is no point in dividing our electorate or membership,” she said in French. “So that we have a chance of succeeding in advancing the party in that direction.”

Charest is not yet an official candidate in the race to become leader of the Conservatives, but Kheiriddin “doesn’t think that his candidacy is a big secret.”

But the official launch of Jean Charest’s candidacy seems imminent.

After meeting with MPs and senators in Ottawa last week, Charest has strategic meetings scheduled for this week.

Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative MP for Carleton, is the only candidate to have formally declared his candidacy to date

An official Charest website appeared on Feb. 2. The owner of the site, still under construction, remains anonymous.

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