Quebec: Gaetan Barrette fails to run in next election

Image copyright Montreal Gazette Image caption Mr Barrette is facing a court case and suspension Former Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette has decided not to run in the next provincial election. The 75-year-old spent…

Quebec: Gaetan Barrette fails to run in next election

Image copyright Montreal Gazette Image caption Mr Barrette is facing a court case and suspension

Former Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette has decided not to run in the next provincial election.

The 75-year-old spent a year in hospital before he decided to stand down as health minister.

He had faced criticism for increasing public spending on health care, leading to a judicial inquiry and a public feud with his then-opposition party.

The opposition Parti Quebecois had accused him of political interference.

‘Shared vision’

He had asked the PQ to support his vision of a “healthy society” with strong health care and education systems, but they refused.

Writing in the newspaper La Presse, Mr Barrette said he felt “deeply sad” about his decision not to run in a PQ stronghold.

“That decision, I won’t make if I’m a happy man,” he said.

“Life has other priorities.”

In politics for more than 25 years, he said he had “come to the conclusion that it’s time to stop”.

He had been expected to run in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve riding.

PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee said the decision showed a “huge loss” for the province.

“In recent months I’ve seen Mr Barrette defend a profound and divisive ideological vision that held Quebecers in contempt,” he said.

Former sports journalist, Mr Barrette took over the health portfolio in 2012.

He was elected to the Quebec legislature in 1989, but only completed his initial term in the 1990s.

In 1999, he was elected to represent an Laval borough and won his regional seat again in 2001, again in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

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