National Newswatch

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest says that if he became the leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister, he would bring fiscal discipline to federal spending, mend regional divisions and restore Canada’s brand on the international stage.

Mr. Charest said he has a wealth of experience as a federal cabinet minister under former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney and as Quebec premier from 2003 until 2012.

He met privately Tuesday evening with dozens of Conservative MPs and senators who wanted to hear his vision for the country.

“I am going to be running as a Conservative. I am not trying to run as a red Tory,” Mr. Charest said in an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail Tuesday. “I know this country very well … and we deserve better and we can do better and we will do better and that is what I want to bring to the country.”

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