Kellie Leitch has no regrets. Not even that video.
For the past nine months, the 46-year-old Ontario MP and pediatric orthopedic surgeon with an MBA has run an anti-elite, anti-establishment Conservative leadership campaign that centres on a proposal to screen immigrants, refugees and visitors for “anti-Canadian values” with face-to-face interviews. Ms. Leitch has defined the values as equal opportunity, hard work, helping others, generosity, freedom and tolerance.
She has been excoriated from all quarters, including her own party, for her pitch. She has been labelled a demagogue and the “karaoke version” of U.S. President Donald Trump. Her former campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, stepped down after using a term espoused by supporters of far-right ideology on Twitter. She has had to publicly reject support from white nationalists. But still, a core group of supporters likes what she’s selling.
Because of her polarizing policies, party insiders don’t give Ms. Leitch much chance of winning the leadership on May 27, but with an unpredictable ranked ballot system, it is certainly possible. With Kevin O’Leary’s abrupt departure from the race, Maxime Bernier is now considered the front-runner.