London party

Leslyn Lewis enters Conservative leadership race

Lewis is the second candidate to enter the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race after Pierre Poilievre

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Leslyn Lewis announced Tuesday that she will run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, becoming the second candidate to do so after Pierre Poilievre.

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“I am running to lead our party and our country based on hope, unity and compassion,” she wrote on social media, along with a video of a speech in the House. Commons lambasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his “failure of leadership” in achieving those same goals.

But first, Lewis must submit at least 500 signatures from Conservative Party members to officially enter the race. She emailed her supporters shortly after her announcement to collect signatures and ask them to volunteer in her leadership bid.

The MP for Haldimand-Norfolk already enjoys the full support of conservative social groups such as the pro-life organization RightNow.

“We believe she is the only candidate who can truly unite the party and who has a fresh perspective on various issues and the expertise to ultimately defeat Justin Trudeau in the next election,” RightNow co-founder Alissa Golob said. in an interview.

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Golob believes Lewis, a Jamaican immigrant who was a single mother and went to law school before founding her own firm in the Greater Toronto Area, could attract new voters.

“The Conservative Party said in the last election that the next leader must focus on new Canadians and women voters. So I think those demographics will support Leslyn because she’s one of them and she’s relatable in that way,” she said.

This will be Lewis’ second time running for leader. She finished third in the race in 2020, surprisingly raising more money and gaining more support than expected, especially in Western Canada and among the social conservative wing of the party.

Former leader Erin O’Toole had promised to give her a strong voice in the party, but sidelined her when forming her shadow cabinet after Lewis questioned the effectiveness of the vaccination of children against COVID-19 on social networks.

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O’Toole was ousted as leader in early February by a majority of his caucus.

Lewis will campaign against Poilievre, who has the support of former Tory leader Andrew Scheer and nearly a third of the caucus. Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest will also announce Thursday that he is running for the leadership.

Patrick Brown, mayor of Brampton, Ont., and former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, is also expected to announce his decision shortly.

Political commentator Tasha Kheiriddin decided not to run and supported Charest instead.

  1. Jean Charest arrives for an event with potential caucus supporters as he plans to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, in Ottawa, March 2, 2022.

    Jean Charest to announce Conservative leadership candidacy on Thursday and wins Kheiriddin’s backing

  2. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre promises to abolish the federal carbon tax if elected prime minister.

    Poilievre blasts Charest’s ‘record tax hike’ and compares him to Trudeau

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