Quebec’s former finance minister Raymond Bachand leaves politics

The Canadian Press

Quebec legislature member Raymond Bachand gestures as he announces his resignation as Outremont MLA, Monday August 26, 2013, in Quebec City. (CLEMENT ALLARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Quebec’s former finance minister, Raymond Bachand, has announced his retirement from politics.

His exit comes five months after he lost the Quebec Liberal leadership race to Philippe Couillard, finishing a disappointing third.

Bachand had been minister of economic development, then finance, through five turbulent years during which he implemented a stimulus program and drew the wrath of student protesters with tuition hikes.

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Before his career as an elected politician, Bachand was a corporate executive, lawyer, a founding member of Oxfam Quebec, and got a doctorate at the Harvard Business School.

He had also been a prominent member of the Parti Québécois, serving as a staffer in Rene Levesque’s premier’s office and holding a formal role in the pro-independence Yes side in the 1980 referendum.

The 65-year-old becomes the second Opposition Liberal MNA to quit in recent weeks, following Emmanuel Dubourg who resigned to run in a federal by-election.

Both are expected to claim severance pay.

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