PEI

Kellie Leitch campaigns for Tory leadership on P.E.I.

Let the campaigning begin! Former Tory cabinet minister and Ontario MP Kellie Leitch made her first stop in P.E.I. to drum up support for her bid to become Canada's next Conservative Party leader.

'I'm passionate about the party and I'm passionate about the country'

Conservative Party of Canada leadership contender Kellie Leitch is visiting P.E.I. (CBC)

Let the campaigning begin! Former Tory cabinet minister and Ontario MP Kellie Leitch made her first stop in P.E.I. to drum up support for her bid to become Canada's next Conservative Party leader.

The convention, set for May 17, 2017, is still more than a year away. 

"I'm passionate about the party and I'm passionate about the country," Leitch told CBC News: Compass guest host Patrick Faller.

"And I think you should be, if you're applying for a job, you should get out and meet all of the people making a decision on it." 

She's also Dr. Leitch

The pediatric orthopedic surgeon, elected MP for the Ontario riding of Simcoe–Grey in 2011 over Helena Guergis, became part of Stephen Harper's cabinet in 2013 as minister of labour and minister of status of women.

No, she's touring the country to meet as many Conservatives as possible.

She still volunteers part-time at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. 

"I'm running because I believe that our party has a certain set of values that all Canadians will agree on and unifies Canadians," Lietch said.

That list includes rewarding hard work, generosity, tolerance and freedom — whether that be fighting abroad for the freedoms of others, or freedom here in Canada from taxation and regulation.

"I think there are certain values that bring people to this country, and I'm focused on making sure our Conservative Party represents them."

Leitch's goal is making sure Conservative policy development will reflect Islanders' values, she said. She wants to unify the party and bring in new members, she added.

"I'm here to talk to them and get input so that I can actually make sure that's happening in our party," she said. "So that I can be a stronger contender in the leadership, but quite frankly also be a stronger leader of the Opposition."

Different than Harper? 

The Conservative party did a good job of focusing on economic issues, Leitch said, but "I think our party can be bigger than that." 

Leitch hints that she'd be a better listener than Harper was — stating she takes a collaborative approach in both her political and medical practice.

"I think if work together ...  we actually are doing better public service.

"It's about listening first, developing a plan together and then going out and implementing it in the best interests of Canadians," she said.

With files from Patrick Faller

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