Kevin O’Leary says he fully expects to win the Conservative leadership this coming May, and if his approach to defeating the Liberal government in 2019 subsequently fails, he should be promptly fired.
The Shark Tank star and newly-minted political candidate made the comments during a wide ranging interview with Global News’ Vassy Kapelos early Wednesday morning, shortly after confirming that he is entering the race to replace former prime minister Stephen Harper.
“Because I see the path for how the Conservative Party can bring back all the 82 per per cent of 18-to-35-year olds that Trudeau got because … he’s not delivering on jobs at all. And those young Canadians are starting to feel that pain as they look at the ceiling from the basements of their mothers’ and fathers’ homes.
WATCH: Kevin O’Leary enters Conservative leadership race
O’Leary focused squarely on the economy throughout the interview, repeatedly blasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for alleged mismanagement of Canada’s finances and claiming the prime minister needs to be “exorcised” from office.
“He is destroying the potential of Canada,” O’Leary said. “If you’re a young Canadian today, you will not live in the same lifestyle that your parents did. He’s squandering that opportunity and I’m not gonna let him do it.”
The mogul, who intends to keep appearing on his reality television show for the duration of his campaign, said he’d be happy to help Trudeau “find his ultimate calling, because it’s not running Canada. That’s painfully obvious now.”
Asked how he’d do things differently, O’Leary pledged to immediately reverse the Liberals’ newly-announced carbon tax. He also said he will reduce corporate taxes, get a pipeline built from Canada’s western provinces to eastern regions, and “strip away all the regulations.”
O’Leary blasted Canada’s reliance on oil from countries like Saudi Arabia, a country that “beats women with a stick.”
Pressed on Canada’s Saudi Arabian arms agreement, which will supply the country with light armoured vehicles, O’Leary did not say if he would pull Canada out of the deal.
“That file is very complex, we’re going to look at all of it in the context of what our role in NATO is, no question about it,” he said.
Marijuana, abortion and LGBTQ
Kapelos also pushed the business mogul on his views on various social issues. He said he fully supports the right to an assisted death in Canada and the rights of the LGBTQ community. He also said the debate on abortion in this country is over, and that he wants to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.
O’Leary entered the Conservative leadership race just hours after the second French-language debate, and was accused of trying to avoid speaking the language. He did not address those criticisms directly on Wednesday morning, but said his French is improving every day.
The party is expected to select its new leader from the current field of 14 candidates on May 27.