OTTAWA – Conservative MP Tony Clement launched his bid for the leadership of his party earlier this week. Here’s a look at who else is in, who’s out and who’s still on the fence.
Kellie Leitch. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon first elected as an MP in 2011 was the first official entrant in the race. She rolled out a campaign organization across the country on day one but that was dealt an early blow when a key organizer was charged with drunk driving offences and forced to resign.
Maxime Bernier. The Quebec MP filed his papers a few days after Leitch and has already outlined several key policy positions, including a pledge to end supply management, a controversial approach in his home province with its established farming industry.
Michael Chong. The Tory MP from Ontario has been a longtime champion of democratic reform is spending the summer holding fundraisers in a bid to bolster his campaign coffers.
Jason Kenney. The longtime Alberta MP had been thinking about a run but announced last week he’ll seek leadership of the provincial Conservatives in Alberta instead.
Rona Ambrose. A small group of conservatives, including some MPs, had been pushing Ambrose to consider making the jump from interim leadership of the party to the full time job. It would have required a rule change at the party level and efforts to make that happen failed at the party’s May convention.
Not yet decided:
Peter MacKay. The former cabinet minister from Nova Scotia now working as a lawyer in Toronto is considering a run, and with Kenney’s departure is believed to be an easy front-runner if he does.
Kevin O’Leary. The popular TV personality and businessman first mused about running for the leadership earlier this year. He only took out a party membership in May, ahead of the convention. Since then, his thinking has begun to shift; he told The Canadian Press last week he’s now considering whether to run himself or throw his weight behind another candidate.
Andrew Scheer. The former speaker of the House of Commons is spending the summer weighing his options. One key consideration for him is his young family. The Scheers have five children and the life of the Opposition leader will demand a great deal of time away.
Lisa Raitt. The popular Tory MP from Ontario and current finance critic musings about a bid have spurred an social media campaign called “Draft Lisa Raitt.” She’s also using the summer months to take stock. Family matters are weighing on her mind and some have raised concerns about her lack of facility with French.
Brad Trost. The Saskatchewan Tory is one of the foremost advocates for socially conservative positions within his party. When a policy opposing same-sex marriage was dropped from the party handbook in May, he said he was going to start looking into a leadership run.
Dan Lindsay. The former president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba announced in May he was forming a committee to explore a possible leadership run.