POLITICS

Gaetan Barrette Weight Loss: Quebec Health Minister's Progress Is Stunning

10/08/2015 05:30 EDT | Updated 10/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette has long endured shots about his physical appearance.

Former Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois took a less-than-veiled one when he was a candidate for the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) in 2012.

And last year, Barrette was the subject of a petition that called on him to lose weight after Premier Philippe Couillard appointed him as minister of health. Barrette called the petition a form of "bullying."

But a year and a half after he joined cabinet, Barrette is cutting a whole different figure, as evidenced in this composite that was tweeted by Quebec news site Petit Petit Gamin on Thursday.

The difference is even more evident in this slider:

before

after

Numerous social media users have tweeted their congratulations to Barrette in French:

Losing weight isn't easy. So we're VERY proud of this Quebec minister and the progress he's made.

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Le cabinet ministériel de Philippe Couillard