Saskatchewan

Brad Trost calls Kevin O'Leary 'a chicken' for missing French debate

Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost said that Kevin O'Leary's entry into the contest a day after a French language debate shows a lack of courage.

Saskatchewan MP participated in French-language debate day before O'Leary entered Conservative leadership race

Conservative MP Brad Trost, who represents Saskatoon-University, is one of 14 people seeking to become leader of the party. (CBC)

Federal Conservative Party leadership candidate Brad Trost said that Kevin O'Leary's entry into the leadership race the day after a French-language debate shows a lack of courage.

Trost, the Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Saskatoon-University, is one of 14 people seeking to lead the party. O'Leary confirmed his participation Wednesday, following Tuesday night's French-language candidates debate.

"I think Mr. O'Leary is going to impact the race," Trost said, adding he believes O'Leary will have the strongest impact on the campaigns of Kellie Leitch and Maxime Bernier.

Trost characterized O'Leary as having views on some topics that are more in line with the Liberal party.

"He's a Liberal on social issues: pro-marijuana,  pro-abortion. Not a social conservative. So for candidates like me his impact is immaterial," Trost said.

"I'm a very different Conservative than O'Leary."

He also criticized O'Leary's decision to enter the contest after the French-language debate.

"Let's be blunt. He's being a bit of a chicken," said Trost, who participated in the debate.

"Everyone knows my French is awful," he said. "Where's his courage?"

Trost said he continues to work on his French-language skills. He has written social media posts and done interviews in French.

The Conservatives vote for a new party leader on May 27.

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