OTTAWA — When Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was speaking in Parliament last week, Kellie Leitch gave her seat to Conservative leadership rival Erin O’Toole’s daughter Mollie so she could bear witness to history alongside her dad.
Leitch didn’t mind — she found a much better place to sit, right in front.
The two Conservative MPs may be seat mates in the back row of the House of Commons these days, but their campaigns to take over the permanent leadership of the party couldn’t be much farther apart.
Leitch is on the populist path; the centrepiece of her campaign is a requirement that all newcomers be interviewed to verify their “Canadian” values. She rails against “out-of-touch elites,” though some suggest the former cabinet minister and pediatric orthopedic surgeon is one herself.
“I talk about Canadian values, one of those values being hard work. I think when Canadians work hard they are extremely generous back,” Leitch said recently during a roundtable interview with The Canadian Press.
“That’s different than having an elitist attitude of thinking you know best and you can tell people what to do. That’s not what I share.”