Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday January 19, 2017
Kevin O’Leary makes late entry into Conservative leadership race
It’s finally official: Kevin O’Leary is running to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
After months of flirting with the idea, he picked the morning after the party’s French-language debate and used a video on his Facebook page to declare his candidacy.
“You know why? I listened to you,” he said in the video posted Wednesday, thanking the “40,000” Canadians he said went to his website and encouraged him to run.
“I’m reaching 1.2 million Canadians a week now on social media,” he said in an interview with CBC News Network’s Suhana Meharchand.
‘Kevin O’Leary has a long record of saying whatever ridiculous thing comes to his mind.’- Lisa Raitt, Conservative leadership candidate
“I don’t have a money problem. I don’t have a name recognition problem. I want to do what’s right for the party: sell tens of thousands of memberships and then let them decide … who should carry the torch to Ottawa to perform the exorcism we need in this country in 2019 to rid the country of Justin Trudeau,” he said about Canada’s Liberal prime minister.
“What I’m talking about is beyond Trudeau. His entire caucus is incompetent,” he said, adding that even after last week’s cabinet shuffle, “it’s not working.”
Those wishing to vote for the next Conservative leader on May 27 must purchase a party membership before March 28.
O’Leary, 62, joins the contest months after it started. Three of the 13 other candidates made their candidacies official last spring, and will have been organizing for more than a year by the time the vote is held.
O’Leary’s campaign must catch up in the space of a few months. But his various television programs in Canada and the U.S. have already made him a household name. (Source: CBC News)