Government should infringe as little as possible upon people’s rights and freedoms.
The best way to realize that you are infringing on people’s rights is to spot the contradictions in your laws.
The more laws and rules governments implement in a rush, the more likely government is to trample on our rights.
Just look at what is happening in Canada now:
Why are big businesses allowed to remain open while small businesses owners are forced to close? Why not just let businesses know what the standards are, and then let them meet them?
Why are churches, charities and non-profits unable to access a wage subsidy, but political parties and even NHL teams can?
I was disappointed to see our Party applying for the wage subsidy program, because I believe our standard should NOT simply be whether or not we are better than the Liberals.
It should be whether or not we are an example of fiscal conservatism to all Canadians.
We must govern ourselves like we would govern the country.
Conservative members still care very much about being able to match the Liberals in the next election and if we are honest and transparent with our grassroots members, I have every confidence they will respond as needed.
I made fiscal responsibility a pillar of my campaign platform because I believe it is wrong to heap debt and unnecessary taxation on future generations.
Just because we are in a crisis doesn’t make fiscal responsibility wrong, it just makes it more difficult and takes more creativity.
As leader of our party I will pull out every stop to make the Conservative party a symbol in Canada of fiscal transparency, ingenuity and responsibility.
By respecting our donors and members, we will show the country how a Conservative government will respect and honour the taxpayers.
Our party is the only federal big tent party in the country.
It holds together when we decide to make it a wide and welcoming tent.
But some people are so obsessed with trying to expose cracks in our party that even the Green Party is publicly claiming they can steal supporters from us.
When we don’t retreat into our corners of the tent, but instead reach out and remember our shared values, we make each other stronger and can have healthy and vigorous discussions about our different viewpoints.
Real leadership is realizing the strengths throughout our party and bringing people together, not dividing people in order to rally one side to drive out the other.
Stephen Harper held our party together for nearly ten years, but sadly it seems like all that some members of our party took from it was that they love the feeling of power.
But this isn’t about power.
It's about the future of Canada.
We are facing the worst economic crisis in our lifetime and possibly in our country's history.
Your shade of blue shouldn’t matter.
It’s the red maple leaf on our flag that we look to.
I am encouraged to be receiving messages nearly every day from people who fled our party in the last few elections both to the right and the left, saying they see our campaign of courage, compassion and common sense and have returned to the big blue tent in order to vote for me.
That’s the kind of party I promise to build. That’s the kind of party that will attract Canadians from every region of the country.
That’s the kind of party that will win the next election and form a government that will put Canadians first again.
Let’s build it together.
I want my children, my neighbours’ children and the children all across Canada to be safe from violence.
But I don’t appreciate when someone tries to use my concern for my children’s well-being to trick me into accepting bad policies.
The Liberal gun ban makes me angry not just because they are going after law-abiding firearms owners, but because they are preying on the fears of parents and concerned Canadians to get away with it.
If Justin Trudeau truly wanted to protect Canadians like me and my family, he would have accepted the Conservatives' long-standing policy of directing funds towards cracking down on smuggled firearms and gang violence.
In order to convince Canadians that there are thousands upon thousands of military-style firearms floating around Canada, the Liberals released a scarily long list of “1,500 assault-style weapons” that they will ban.
But in order to hit that big scary number, they had to list not only guns that have already been banned; they included cannons and an ever-changing list of “variations” of certain types of firearms.
Meaning that target shooters and duck hunters now trying to purchase legal rifles, have bought firearms that are perfectly legal one day, but then found themselves suddenly in possession of a prohibited firearm the next.
I love my kids, and I would do anything to protect them, but I am not afraid of sport shooters, duck hunters, or cannons. This is why I have promised to repeal this Liberal gun ban and reroute these resources to tackle firearm smuggling, invest in vulnerable youth, and fight gang violence.
I look forward to taking on Justin Trudeau in the next election and presenting my plan for common sense firearms laws that protect the rights of our law-abiding hunters and farmers while taking real measures to protect our families.
Identity politics can only divide.
To focus on what makes us different, whether that's race, gender or religion, rather than what we have in common has never served to bring people together.
Identity politics is only a tool of destruction. For one group to advance, they must tear down and destroy, which inevitably leads to a counter group rising up with an equally destructive response.
People use it to build their reputation, to advance favour for their particular group and to secure positions for their individual advancement. It is destroying politics within our country.
That’s why I was deeply disturbed last week by the actions of a newly formed group called the Association of Black Conservatives (ABC).
For over twenty years as I have served within various communities, I have had many Liberal and NDP friends tell me I didn't belong in the Conservative party. I have been told to my face more than once that I cannot be a conservative, not because of my beliefs, but because of my skin colour.
I’ve been told that I will never be accepted because of how I look — and ironically here I am surrounded by a steadily growing movement, running for the leadership of this party.
But, in the Conservative party, I have always found a family. A family that believes that it is how you think and how you act that matters above all else. A family that has embraced me and propelled me onto the final ballot. More than 3,000 CPC members signed my nomination papers, from over 30 riding in this country, across all 10 provinces. Over 3,000 Canadians believed in my conservative vision for Canada and generously donated over $300,000 in order to meet the record threshold our party had set.
So I was surprised when I discovered that members of ABC, claiming to represent the voice of black conservatives, began a smear campaign against me because my basic conservative values “did not represent black people”.
From members of this group there began to be a whisper campaign against me as a poor representation “of black women”. Using the labels that leftists often use against us as conservatives — to silence me!
Because I believe in fair and legal immigration which includes closing the illegal border crossing at Roxham Road. I was told this was “racist against black people.”
My common sense gun policies were wrong “for a black person”, despite my proposal that the $450 million wasted to buyback arms from law abiding citizens should be reallocated towards helping inner city youth to prevent them from getting involved in crime; and to help stop smuggling of firearms at the borders.
The fact that I did an interview with Rebel Media was argued to be proof that I didn’t care about black people.
More “proof” that I didn’t meet their standard? Because as a student I had invited Preston Manning - one of the founding fathers of our modern conservative movement, and a man that I strongly align with on faith issues - to speak at my university.
This was apparently a betrayal of the black community because, as the angry individual within the ABC said, and I quote: “Preston Manning should be consigned to the dustbin of history - f*** Preston Manning”.
These attacks have nothing to do with conservative ideas: they are tired liberal talking points.
Our party represents the average person by standing for family values, small businesses, and opportunity for everyone.
When I received the questionnaire from ABC for my endorsement I was horrified to see that the “executive leaders” had put together a list of identity focused questions that completely negated my existence in the race. You can see a copy of the questionnaire here. A member of my team reached out to them to modify the questionnaire to more accurately reflect conservative values and the need for mentorship and not quotas.
They displayed no understanding of the conservative principles of freedom and opportunity.
They didn’t care what I had done for my country, or the community, they only cared about what I was going to do for them personally. The organization was playing into identity politics and it was clear that individuals sought only to advance their own careers.
I believe in our grassroots Conservative members. I believe in doing politics differently — by operating with integrity and having truthful and honest discussions with my Conservative family.
I have had the opportunity in my life to help lift up those who needed help. I am the recipient of many community awards, including the highest award granted in the black community — the Harry Jerome award.
Some of these awards were granted for helping young people who were black...and others were earned for helping people who were not black. I believe in humanity, and I have spent a lot of time changing lives in prisons, inner city schools and women’s shelters — attempting to make a positive impact.
Last week it became public that the ABC found a home in Erin O'Toole's campaign, and I have had respectful conversations with him about the fact that I believe that he is being used.
I believe that Liberals within the organization are using this as a trial run as to how they will attack me. They will use people from within my community to attack me because Justin Trudeau’s usual attacks won’t work against me.
I trust in the membership of this party. I have received thousands of lovely emails and messages from Conservatives of every race, culture and language standing with me.
Standing united because of our shared values, not because of our skin colour.
This is the Conservative party that I have always known and found myself at home in.
This is the kind of Conservative party we will keep building together.
This is the kind of Conservative party that will defeat the Liberals' destructive identity politics.
I need to tell you a personal story.
I think when you know it you will understand why abortion is not a settled issue for me.
And I believe that even if you have a different opinion than me, you will understand my position a little better.
When I had just completed Law School and was starting my law career, articling on Bay street, I got pregnant.
From a career perspective this was the worst possible timing. Who would hire a law student walking around pregnant? How was I even going to study for and pass the bar exam?
The pressure to have an abortion was immense.
Friends went ahead and booked abortion consultations on my behalf.
People told me that I didn’t have a choice. It was my future, or my baby.
I need to be honest with you. In some sense they were right. For example, I was the only student not hired by the firm I was articling for, despite performing very well in my time there.
But I had something almost nobody else in my situation ever has: a supportive partner.
The most important person in my life stood by my side and helped me withstand the pressure.
And in the end, despite initial setbacks in my career, I have thrived, running my own law firm and getting incredible opportunities to teach in universities. And now I am running for leadership of our party.
My children have helped give me purpose and made me a better lawyer. They have shown me the power of choosing life.
And they are the reason I want to fight for all the women and girls who, like me, felt immense social social pressures to have an abortion.
I have been clear with my “No-Hidden Agenda” plan that:
- I will fight for the vulnerable through banning the misogynistic practice of sex-selective abortions.
- I will end abortion funding overseas and focus Canadian funding on actually helping women and girls overseas thrive.
- I will criminalize coerced abortions.
- And I will increase funding for pregnancy centres.
The last point is very important to me because I want women and girls all across Canada to have what I actually had: the support to choose life.
I want them to know that in this country you don’t have to choose between following your dreams, and having a family.
That’s what I’m fighting for.
And now you know why.
I was grieved to read this today.
The Liberal government is leaving some of the most vulnerable Canadians out in the cold.
Every single day Justin Trudeau gives a press conference and is offering some new funds to one group of Canadians to another.
They have admitted that their policy is essentially give money now, ask questions later.
But one group has been totally left out in the cold.
Survivors of human trafficking.
The vulnerable girls, and boys, women and men being trafficked in Canada are not able to just “go home” to self-quarantine.
They still need our help, and the organizations who are on the front lines helping them have lost their funding.
During the election the Liberals promised them money. They claimed they had a plan to help them.
Instead they have nothing.
In a time when government programs to assist nearly everyone are popping up with almost no planning, the government couldn’t be bothered to follow through on their own plan to protect the vulnerable.
I have based my campaign on courage, compassion and common sense.
There is no compassion in this decision. No common sense.
I have released a 5 point plan to combat human trafficking and protect the most vulnerable among us.
- Re-establish the national action plan to combat human trafficking.
- Legislative adoption of the most widely accepted international definition of human trafficking known as the Palermo Protocol.
- Strengthen criminal penalties against human traffickers to ensure that those who take advantage of the vulnerable in our society are punished for every single life they harm.
- Create a public awareness campaign about the reality of human trafficking in our society.
- Commit to keeping in place the Nordic Model to combat sex-trafficking in prostitution
A Canada without compassion is not Canada at all.
I jumped into this race because I believed that the Canada I grew up in - the country that gave me so many opportunities to succeed - was fading away.
Over the last several years we have seen many of our fundamental freedoms start to erode.
I am well aware that not everyone in our party and in Canada is a social conservative, and I don’t believe everyone needs to be.
In a free and democratic society everyone has the freedom to make up their own minds and participate in the political process.
But now Elections Canada is going after a group of pro-life Canadians.
I have had meetings with many small groups of Canadians who are passionate in advocating for the issues they care about.
And I believe they are the lifeblood of our democracy.
They are definitely more vital to our political conversations than well-paid union activists.
More important than foreign special interest groups
But Elections Canada is focused on investigating a pro-life group.
A group that did everything above board.
A group that filed all the appropriate paperwork with Elections Canada as a third party.
Are these really the people that Elections Canada want to remove from the political process?
Are these the kind of voices that they want to silence?
Our democracy must be protected. Our free speech is absolutely vital.
I have an exciting announcement to make:
I am very pleased to be joining the thousands of Canadians who are supporting Leslyn Lewis for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
Leslyn has the courage, compassion, and common sense it takes to lead this great country into a brighter future.
She speaks from the heart about how her family, faith, and hard work motivate her to fight for a stronger Canada - for everyone.From her childhood as a proud new Canadian, to her distinguished academic contributions, and her success as a business owner, Leslyn’s experiences resonate with Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Leslyn has always worked for the good of Canadian families, workers, job creators, seniors, and our most vulnerable, and I’m convinced that is exactly what she will do going forward. She’s in it for Main Street Canada, not Bay Street Canada.
I know Leslyn has what it takes to grow the Conservative Party, take on Justin Trudeau, win, and build up a Canada that is strong,united, and free!
Sam Oosterhoff, MPP
Canadian farmers have helped form the backbone of our country since its very foundation.
But in a time of crisis our government has abandoned them.
After a disastrous harvest last year, and losing billions of dollars in revenue due to the fights with China over our exports, they were already in dire need of government assistance just to be able to afford to plant this year's crops.
Then COVID-19 hit. And our farmers have now lost approximately 2.6 BILLION dollars to date.
What did they get in return?
First, the Liberals raised the Carbon Tax. A tax that already was hitting farmers harder than most Canadians.
Then after waiting nearly two months from the beginning of this crisis to offer them anything the government finally announced their relief package.
252 million dollars.
That’s basically ten cents on the dollar for their losses.
My question for our government is: where do they think Canada will be in the future without a strong agricultural sector?
Farming is not a hobby, it is not a fad...it’s a literal necessity for the health and survival of our country.
A post COVID-19 Canada needs a stronger agricultural sector, not a weaker one.
The Conservative party has been home to farmers across Canada for generations, and as leader of our party I vow that I will be their champion, both here in Canada and on the world stage.
Last week I announced that as Prime Minister I would repeal the undemocratic and ineffective Liberal firearm ban.
The disrespect that Justin Trudeau showed for Parliament and for law-abiding gun owners is amazing.
And there's more to come.
Media coverage broke over the weekend that revealed that there are more bans coming.
The facts remain: none of these Liberal policies will do anything to stop gun smuggling at the border, or keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
But here's another angle that Justin Trudeau likely hasn't considered at all.
These Liberal gun bans are yet another blow against the economy.
There are over 4500 small and medium-size businesses that sell firearms, and employ over 40,000 people across the country.
These businesses will now be stuck with large amounts of inventory that is suddenly illegal for them to sell or export. That includes ammunition that was used at completely legal gun ranges.
Businesses that cannot absorb these losses will need to cut jobs or shut down completely.
Remember when Justin Trudeau said that as Prime Minister he would stand up for jobs? That was his talking point when it came to why he was trying to interfere with the prosecution of SNC Lavalin.
The same concern doesn't seem to be there it comes to oil and gas jobs, and now anyone who makes a living selling firearms.
I have promised to review all of Canada's gun laws, to make sure they're actually helping protect the public from criminal activity. These bans will be repealed, and we will adopt a common sense approach to all other gun laws.
I believe in cracking down hard on smuggled firearms.
I believe in empowering police forces to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
I want to lead a government that respects legal gun owners in Canada, instead of one that treats gun owners with contempt and disrespect.
I promise to bring common sense back to Canada’s approach to firearms and review our firearms legislation to make it clear, practical and purposeful instead of adding more legislation to our already confusing laws.
Together we can create a Canada lead with courage, compassion and common sense.