KAMLOOPS — Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod says she welcomes Kevin O'Leary's energy and perspective in the Conservative leadership race, but she won't be supporting him.
The businessman and television personality announced his candidacy this morning.
McLeod says it's important that a party leader be bilingual, and O'Leary doesn't speak any French.
"He has some very interesting fiscal ideas. Obviously I believe that French is absolutely critical. The fact that he can't speak French, and he has some policies around defence and other areas besides fiscal that certainly I won't be supporting his candidacy."
The local Conservative MP supports Erin O'Toole for party leadership, and she says his French is quickly improving.
"He's been right up there in the top group, in my opinion. He is putting out some very good policies. He demonstrated last night that although he not bilingual as of yet, he has capabilities in the French language that, with time, he will certainly be able to stand up in three years and go head-to-head in a French language debate."
"When I look at the candidate of my choice, I'm not only looking at fiscal policy, but defence policy, foreign affairs policy, and the ability to speak French. In this day and age in Canada, we need a leader that is bilingual."
McLeod adds she doesn't agree with parallels between O'Leary and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
"They both had TV shows, and have that name that is out there. That would be as far as I would take the comparison. Very, very different personalities, different people."
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