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Kingston-area politicians announce support for CPC leadership candidates

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Kingston area politicians announce support for CPC leadership candidates
As Conservative leadership campaigning continues across the country, two local Tory politicians have announced who they will be supporting in the leadership race – Apr 14, 2022

The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leadership race is in full swing, with candidates touring the country while vying for support.

Locally, two CPC politicians have announced who they will be supporting.

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“I’m supporting Pierre Poilievre for leader of the Conservative Party and to be the next prime minister of Canada,” says MP Michael Barrett.

The Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP says the issue of affordability will be a driver for Canadians in both the leadership race and the next federal election, something he says Poilievre is focused on.

“I think that Pierre Poilievre has shown that he has his finger on the pulse of what Canadians and what Conservatives are looking for,” Barrett says.

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Barrett referenced the large crowds that Poilievre has amassed at recent events.

“When we have a candidate who is focused on affordability and who is laying out a plan that makes sense to Canadians, it’s no wonder that they’re coming out in large numbers to support Pierre,” says Barrett.

Former senator and CPC MPP Bob Runciman says Conservatives need to find a leader who will have a broader appeal to Canadian votes, not just a narrow group.

“(CPC voters) are looking for someone who can reach across divides and start to unite this country, not continue to divide us,” says Runciman.

That, he says, is Poilievre’s downfall, which is why he is “very strongly supporting” Jean Charest to lead the party forward.

“I want to see a guy in there, someone I trust and believe in, who can form government,” Runciman says. “And Jean will have that kind of broad appeal to break into areas that we’ve been shut out of for many, many years.”

Runciman says he’s known Charest for over 25 years and describes him as “the adult in the room.”

“He’s an unbelievably capable guy and a warm, warm individual. And I think he’s the kind of person that a great many Canadians will embrace and would like to see him in the prime minister’s seat,” Runciman says.

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“So, I’m going to do anything I can to support him. It’s really important for our country to have someone like John Charest as prime minister.”

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Roman Baber, Leslyn Lewis, Scott Aitchison and Patrick Brown have all thrown their hats in the ring as well.

The Conservative Party is set to choose its next leader at a convention on Sept. 10.

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