Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 14, 2016
Tony Clement launches campaign to become next Conservative federal leader
Conservative MP Tony Clement launched his campaign Tuesday evening to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Clement made the announcement surrounded by supporters in Mississauga, Ont., promising he is the “leader, who represents the experience, and the innovation, who can win back the trust of Canadians in suburban and urban communities alike across the land.”
Clement said he was “tested, and ready today, to earn back the confidence of families, of millennials, of moms and dads, of urban and rural Canadians, and of small business leaders, and seniors who want government to be an empowering force for good.”
Clement is something of a social media maven who has been critical of the party’s campaign in the last election.
Drawing attention to his well-known Twitter presence, Clement said he would use social media more effectively to reach out to all Canadians and engage them. He joked that the first draft of his campaign launch speech was only 140 characters long — the maximum length of a tweet.
A former minister in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, Clement spoke at length about his roots as an immigrant from the United Kingdom who was brought up on strong family values.
The longtime politician joins three other Conservative leadership hopefuls, all of whom are his fellow House caucus colleagues.
Maxime Bernier, Michael Chong and Kellie Leitch launched their campaigns earlier this year after the Tory leadership process formally began. Milton MP Lisa Raitt is another possible contender. Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose has vowed not to run despite being the subject of a “Draft Rona” campaign by some committed supporters.
This is Clement’s second run at the party’s leadership. In 2004 he placed third against Harper and auto parts mogul Belinda Stronach.
The Parry Sound-Muskoka MP has altered his appearance in recent months ahead of his foray into the political spotlight, purchasing new glasses and trimming his hair. (Source: CBC News)