SHERBROOKE, Que. - Jean Charest used an election campaign stop Wednesday to announce that he will become a grandfather.

The Liberal premier was joined by his wife, Michele Dionne, at a highly personal campaign event where he spoke about women's issues.

Charest touted his track record on gender issues, noting that he had named the first provincial cabinet with as many women as men and also introduced pay equity and gender-parity policies in government agencies.

On the stage, as he made the speech, Charest was surrounded by female Liberal candidates and by his wife.

Dionne wiped a tear from her eye while Charest discussed their family.

He paid tribute to his mother-in-law in the room, spoke about their two daughters, and told the crowd that he and Dionne were about to have a grandchild: a baby girl.

Charest made the speech in his home riding of Sherbrooke, which a poll suggests he is in great danger of losing. His wife, Dionne, traditionally campaigns for him there while he tours the province.

"They're never easy," Dionne told reporters.

"We always need to fight and, Sherbrooke, it's not a fortress (for Liberals). We need to be present and that's why I'm on the ground."

Dionne was asked whether this particular campaign was tougher, given a poll showing Charest with a 15-point deficit to overcome in the riding. She replied: "This one isn't harder that the others. It's different. You need to be present, that's all."

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  • Jean Charest Facts

    Here's a look at Jean Charest's life and career.

  • Education

    Law degree from Universite de Sherbrooke.

  • Political career

    Elected as Conservative MP for Sherbrooke in 1984 and served there until 1998; became youngest federal minister in Canadian history in 1986, as minister for youth, but had to resign in 1990 after improperly calling a judge about a case; returned to cabinet as environment minister in 1991; deputy prime minister from June 25, 1993, until Nov. 3, 1993; leader of federal Progressive Conservative party from 1993 to 1998; became leader of Quebec Liberal party in 1998 and Quebec premier in 2003. Re-elected with minority government in 2007 and majority in 2008. He resigned as leader of the Quebec Liberals in 2012 after losing to the PQ in the provincial election.

  • Personal

    Married, with three grown children.

  • Professional career

    Admitted to Quebec bar in 1981.