Lisa Raitt in Cape Breton day after launching Tory leadership bid
Although she is an MP in Ontario, Raitt grew up in the Sydney area and visits often
Former Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt is spending a few days in Sydney, Cape Breton, as she begins her run for the leadership of her party.
Raitt, 48, is MP for Milton, a riding in Ontario, but she grew up in Whitney Pier.
"This is where I'm from. This is who I am, where I grew up here in Cape Breton," said Raitt.
Always a Cape Bretoner
"And I learned here as well the importance of giving back, and even though I sat in cabinet as the MP for Milton, and love where I live, the reality is that I'm always there fighting for Cape Bretoners and people like us who don't always get the sunny side of the street."
Decades of changing economic policies have not provided much benefit in places such as Cape Breton, said Raitt, because governments tend to think of policies "at the higher level."
"Sometimes people didn't realize the actual on-the-ground impacts of decisions being taken in Ottawa," she said. "It didn't create economic opportunity for everybody.
"And the truths and the lessons that I learned here were get an education, leave the island and you'd be able to get a good job and the world would be yours, and you come home when you can with the kids as they grow up. And I just don't think that's a fair way."
Raitt said she thought things would have changed in 40 years, but they haven't. She believes in the importance of fiscal restraint, but she also has the perspective of someone who grew up in a home that functioned on a seniors pension, she said.
"I can tell you I bring a very different point of view to Conservative policies."
With files from Information Morning Cape Breton