Kellie Leitch launches Tory leadership campaign

Ontario MP Kellie Leitch officially launched her campaign to become the next federal Conservative Party leader on Saturday, continuing to talk about the importance of what she terms Canadian values.  

Leitch made the announcement in Collingwood, Ont., which is in her Simcoe-Grey riding.

Her leadership ambitions have been known for several months, and she was a registered candidate before Saturday’s announcement.

First elected in 2011, Leitch has received attention in recent months for her stance on immigration and a call for “Canadian values.” She has said immigrants and refugees should be screened for “anti-Canadian values.”

Following her campaign launch, Leitch told reporters the other candidates want to talk about values, but aren’t necessarily willing to do anything about it.

“What I’m focused on today is face-to-face interviews,” she said.  “Right now, only one in five individuals is receiving a face-to-face interview with an immigration officer.”

Former veterans affairs minister Erin O’Toole launched his campaign on Friday, joining the other registered candidates in the race against MPs Maxime Bernier, Andrew Scheer, Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai and Brad Trost.

Kellie Leitch

Ontario MP Kellie Leitch speaks to reporters after officially launching her campaign to become leader of the federal Conservative Party. (CBC)

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