A Quebec MP, who left the Conservative Party of Canada on Tuesday after Pierre Poilievre won leadership last weekend, says he has faced intimidation and harassment from people within the party.
Alain Rayes, who now represents Richmond-Arthabaska as an Independent, says he received a text about noon on Wednesday asking him to call his equestrian center and demand Rayes’ resignation because “he has decided not to fight Trudeau’s inflation.” with the unified team of Pierre Poilievre.”
“I had to look and I wondered if it was real or if it was broadcast by accident,” Rayes told Radio-Canada.
Rayes is still a member of the local Conservative Riding Association and believes the text has been sent to all its members.
The 50-year-old MP said his voicemail has been inundated with messages ever since, to the point where he can’t reach his employees or do his job properly.
While he first thought the text might have been fake or sent as a mistake, Rayes now thinks it borders on harassment.
“They say to people, ‘Call him and fill his voicemail with requests to resign.’ It is not up to a few members to decide whether I resign or not, it is up to me whether, in an election, the people will decide,” he said.
The text campaign shows why Rayes left Canada’s Conservative Party, he said, because he doesn’t see his values reflected by the party.
“Now they are taking money from Conservative Party members to ask them to call me. Is that a tactic Poilievre supports?’ Rayes said.
“What it tells my colleagues is that if they don’t fall in line with their tails between their legs, you’re out and not a true conservative.”
Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles MP Pierre Paul-Hus, who was named Poilievre’s new lieutenant in Quebec on Tuesday, said the situation is delicate and he “doesn’t want to go to war” with someone he has worked with for seven years.
But he said Rayes’ departure sparked anger within the party.
“It’s normal,” Paul-Hus told Radio-Canada. “It shakes up the party.”
“But what we want is for us to focus on our most important mission, which is to fight Justin Trudeau, inflation and the glaring economic problems we have.”
Poilievre’s office did not respond to TBEN’s request for comment at the time of publication.