08/22/2012 12:11 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Charest Grandchild On The Way: Liberal Leader Makes Emotional Campaign Announcement


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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