Former Yukon MP Ryan Leef endorses Maxime Bernier for Conservative leadership
Leef named Bernier's campaign co-chair for the North
After being defeated in the 2015 federal election, former Yukon MP Ryan Leef will be making a return to politics in support of fellow Conservative Maxime Bernier, who is seeking the nomination as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
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Leef is to serve as Bernier's campaign co-chair for the North, a position Bernier's team is labelling a "crucial role."
Leef joins a growing team of prominent Conservatives endorsing Bernier. So far, he is the only member of the team from Northern Canada.
Leef said he's proud to support his former colleague, saying that Bernier is the only Conservative candidate with his eyes fixed squarely on the North.
"He's the only one I've really seen so far who has taken an active lead in chasing policy discussions and policy ideas for his leadership campaign that directly include Northern, Arctic and rural Canadians," Leef told the CBC.
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"He was always very intrigued about the North and about Northern Canada, what it took to be a Member of Parliament in that region from my perspective.
"He's really understanding of what northern lifestyles, and northern opportunities and northern contributions could be to all of Canada," Leef added.
Leef claims Bernier reached out to him because he understands that he needs the endorsement from people who understand the socioeconomic issues that are unique to the North.
"I think one great sign of leadership is the ability to understand that you can't possibly know or do everything on your own, and that you need to surround yourself with good people. And that's what Maxime has done. He's reached out right across Canada in different regions to try and surround himself with the people who can help him understand the issues that shape the policy," Leef said.
"You're looking at a leader that wants to embrace the North and the Arctic."