Friday January 15, 2016
Ex-dragon Kevin O’Leary mulls Conservative leadership bid
Donald Trump is not the only celebrity businessman with his eye on high political office.
Kevin O’Leary, the chairman of O’Leary Funds, probably best known to Canadians as a former investor panelist on the CBC show Dragon’s Den, said he is considering running for the federal Conservative leadership.
“I thought at some point, someone is going to say to me, if you can be such a critic, why don’t you do better? Why don’t you try it? I thought to myself, hmmm, maybe I should,” O’Leary told CBC News.
That criticism made headlines earlier this week when O’Leary said he would invest $1 million in Canadian oil industries on the condition NDP Alberta Premier Rachel Notley resign.
The Conservative Party of Canada is expected to hold its leadership convention to find a successor to former prime minister Stephen Harper sometime in 2017.
Rona Ambrose is currently interim party leader.
O’Leary, who did not immediately respond to an interview request with the Star Thursday morning, also told CBC News that he was inspired by the campaign of Trump, who is currently leading the pack of those running for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination.
“I know Trump. I know his family. I’ve watched him work. I think he’s smart as a fox,” said O’Leary, who is currently an investor on the ABC reality television show Shark Tank, where he is known for his brash personality and often harsh advice.
O’Leary has named the economy as the main focus of his potential leadership bid so far, saying the primary test for the success of any politician — at the municipal, provincial or federal level — should be whether or not they have created any jobs.
“Did what that person, man or woman, say create one incremental job in Canada? Yes or no?” O’Leary said during a Thursday morning interview with John Moore on Newstalk 1010.
On that front, O’Leary said, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has failed.
“Our prime minister, in his first 60 days on the job, left the country, committed $4.2 billion around the world and didn’t create one incremental job for a Canadian. I call that a fail. I think I can do better,” O’Leary said. (Source: Toronto Star)