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Ex-Conservative Quebec MP, 'political orphan' Alain Rayes won't seek re-election

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Quebec MP Alain Rayes says he won't run again for federal office, a year after leaving the Conservative Party.

In a statement, Rayes says it is the right time for him to exit politics, though he will continue to sit as an MP until the next federal election.

Rayes calls himself "a political orphan," arguing no federal party has a positive vision while being prudent about fiscal management.

The Independent MP has represented the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska in Quebec's Eastern Townships since 2015.

A year ago, Rayes supported former Quebec premier Jean Charest in the Conservative party's leadership race, and quit after Pierre Poilievre took over as leader.

At the time, Rayes said he was concerned his party wasn't adequately standing up for the environment, respect across partisan lines and for law and order.

Registered Conservative Party members in his riding received a text message after his departure asking them to demand his resignation as an MP, which Rayes said was a "smear operation" meant to intimidate him.

The Conservatives apologized on social media for what the party called an "automated text message."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2023.

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