POLITICS

Quebec celeb actor-turned-politico Pierre Curzi set to retire from politics

03/16/2012 11:45 EDT | Updated 05/16/2012 05:12 EDT
QUEBEC - One of Quebec's best-known politicians announced Friday that he will retire rather than rejoin the Parti Quebecois.

Pierre Curzi, a famous actor, was considered the most prominent member of the PQ after he entered provincial politics in 2007.

He quit the PQ earlier this year amid a wave of defections in the party. While the party's fortunes have improved, and there are increasing signs of unity, Curzi said he won't be returning.

Curzi explained in a statement that he had two meetings with PQ Leader Pauline Marois, during which he expressed an interest in returning to the party as its critic on French-language issues — the role he previously held.

An outspoken language hawk, who once accused the Montreal Canadiens of being a federalist pawn and who denounced a free show by Paul McCartney on the Plains of Abraham, Curzi also mentioned his desire to introduce new legislation to protect the French language.

But the leader was apparently cool to his conditions.

"Mme. Marois, for her part, put forward offers that did not correspond to my expectations," Curzi said in a statement. "We did not reach an agreement. I understand the reasons that motivate her and I respect them."

The two-tearm MNA said he won't be running again.

Until the next election, however, Curzi said he will continue pushing changes to language laws and promote the use of French so that, "we can safeguard, reinforce and leave behind a francophone culture that exemplifies our identity in America."

He said he will also take advantage of the fact that he can speak freely on such issues, given that he's no longer bound by the constraints of party discipline.

Curzi appeared in a number of famous films, including "The Decline of the American Empire," and, "The Barbarian Invasions."