Alain Rayes, the Independent

By Nick Fonda
Alain Rayes, the Independent
(Photo : Courtesy )

It’s safe to say that Richmond-Arthabaska’s newly independent MP has had more media interviews in the last few days than he has in the seven years that he has been in the House of Commons.
Alain Rayes was elected under the Conservative banner in 2015 and has represented the Richmond-Arthabaska riding ever since, winning re-election handily in 2019 and 2021. He quit the Conservative party on Sept. 13, following the election of Pierre Poilievre as the new leader of the party. Rayes had supported Jean Charest’s candidacy. (It’s interesting to note that only one sitting member of the Quebec Conservative caucus, Pierre Paul-Hus, supported Poilievre.)
Alain Rayes is far from the first MP to break with his caucus. A far more sensational defection occurred in 2005 when Conservative MP Belinda Stronach, who was publicly romantically involved with the Conservative Justice Minister, Peter Mackay, broke up with MacKay and defected to the Liberal Party in one deft move. Most often, an MP who breaks ranks garners barely a mention in the news.
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