Meet the conservative leadership hopefuls vying to take back the PMO

Meet the conservative leadership hopefuls vying to take back the PMO

Whoever wins the Tory crown will need to recapture Canada's voter-rich big cities (one rhymes with "Boronto"). We quizzed the candidates about their politics, values and Donald Trump. Here's how they stack up

Deepak Obhrai

Hometown: Oldeani, Tanzania
Residence: Calgary
Education: Daly College, a prestigious secondary school in India
Conservative Type: Fiscal conservative
Big Idea: Uniting all Conservatives under a “Big Blue Tent”
Years in Office: 20
Past Life: Accountant, dry-cleaning chain owner
Claim to Fame: Has won seven straight elections as an MP in Calgary
Endorsements: Former foreign affairs minister John Baird
Fun Fact: Has a collection of more than 50 scarves from around the world

What was your first job? “Air traffic controller. I trained in the U.K. and worked in East Africa.”

When was your conservative awakening? “I was born in Tanzania, which was a socialist country. They devastated the economy, which left a lasting impression and made me a conservative.”

Who’s your political icon? “I pick the best things about many leaders, like Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show? “Any documentary on History Channel.”

What languages do you speak? “English, Swahili, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujurati and now I’m learning French.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Camping with my grandson, my biggest supporter, and my family.”

What are your go-to news sources? “Social media. The national media is absolutely biased.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “I’m sure I have!”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Unite everyone who ran against me in a Big Blue Tent.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “The biggest task is to get everyone back in.”

Who’s your least favourite competitor in the leadership race? “Listen. We need everyone united.”

Justin Trudeau is… “A very hard worker but not a deep thinker.”

Donald Trump is… “A storm that will fizzle out under reality.”

Canadian values are… “Different for every Canadian.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Visiting my mother and sister, who used to live there.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “I come and I go. It’s an excellent city.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “A great many. It’s a super city. Let’s just leave it at that.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Maple Leafs, but I’ll stick with my Calgary Flames.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “It’s been my biggest base of support.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Andrew Saxton

Hometown: North Vancouver
Residence: Vancouver
Education: BA in administrative and commercial studies (Western)
Conservative Type: Fiscal conservative and social centrist
Big Idea: Reviving “the Canadian dream”
Years in Office: 7
Past Life: Banker, real estate investor
Claim to Fame: Former North Vancouver MP
Endorsements: Former Tory MP John Duncan, former House speaker John Fraser
GTA Bonafides: Went to high school at Upper Canada College
Fun Fact: Lived in Hong Kong and Singapore for eight years

What was your first job? “Digging and selling worms at my mom’s fishing lodge in Whistler. I was 10.”

When was your conservative awakening? “My mom actually ran for the Liberal nomination in our federal riding and lost by one vote. But I realized in university I was conservative.”

Who’s your political icon? “Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Wag the Dog—my brother was in it!”

What languages do you speak? “English, French and a bit of Cantonese and Mandarin.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Skiing or on my boat.”

What are your go-to news sources?National Post and National Newswatch.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “I’m quite skeptical, but yes. I’d forgotten it was April Fool’s.”

What was it? “Rona Ambrose lists Stornoway on Airbnb to pay down the national debt.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Call President Trump.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “The ones with good ideas on the economy and jobs.”

Who’s your least favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I don’t think we should be discussing this. I’m not going to light my hair on fire.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Heading in the wrong direction.”

Donald Trump is… “Breaking the mould.”

Canadian values are… “Freedom to live the life you choose, and respect for others.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “I arrived in January 1978, and it was darn cold. I showed up in top siders and khakis.”

What’s your favourite thing about Toronto? “The architecture. Vancouver is boring in comparison.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Bill Davis and Dave Keon.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Leafs. I’m a Canucks fans first, but I love hockey.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I understand cities, and I understand both the east and west, having lived in both Ontario and B.C.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Chris Alexander

Hometown: Toronto
Residence: Ajax
Education: BA in history/politics (McGill), MA in philosophy/economics (Oxford)
Conservative Type: Fiscal conservative
Big Idea: Boost immigration to 400,000 per year, including 40,000 refugees
Years in Office: 4
Past Life: Diplomat and ambassador
Claim to Fame: Was immigration minister at the start of the Syrian refugee crisis
GTA Bonafides: Only candidate born in Toronto
Fun Fact: Went to high school with fellow Tories Ian Brodie and John Duffy

What was your first job? “I was an assistant to my grandfather at his carpentry workshop.”

When was your conservative awakening? “My mother’s father was a staunch Conservative and organizer. He was my gateway into conservative politics.”

Who’s your political icon? “Some people my parents knew and worked with: Bill Davis, Joe Clark, Barbara McDougall.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Kukly, which was like a Russian Spitting Image until the creator got shut down because he was being too mocking of Putin.”

What languages do you speak? “English, French, German, Russian, rudimentary Farsi and a tiny bit of Danish.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Breakfast with the family, then skiing, yoga, reading, going to a new museum and dinner with everyone at a restaurant.”

What are your go-to news sources? “The Economist is a must-read.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “A long time ago…”

What was it? “That John Cleese had died. I actually told a lot of people before I realized.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “An eye-catching announcement about job creation.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “Maxime Bernier, but he’s too libertarian.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Form without substance.”

Donald Trump is… “A bull in a china shop.”

Canadian values are… “Our laws, history, traditions, diversity, inclusiveness and the frameworks that unite us.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Seeing a flower in my backyard near Yonge and Eglinton.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “The ravines, the Bloor Cinema and the Blue Room—one of the first places that served me beer when I wasn’t old enough.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Feist and Metric.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Raptors. The Leafs have betrayed me. I was born in 1968, a year after their last Cup. I live the curse!”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I’m proud of my city’s growth, but I will do so much more to do to make Toronto the A-class global hub we know it can be.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Rick Peterson

Hometown: Grande Prairie, Alberta
Residence: Vancouver
Education: BA (U of Alberta), political science (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris)
Conservative Type: Fiscal conservative
Big Idea: Eliminate corporate tax, introduce a flat tax rate for all Canadians
Years in Office: 0
Past Life: Venture capitalist
Claim to Fame: Ran, unsuccessfully, for leadership of B.C.’s conservative party
Endorsements: Former Harris adviser and Fraser Institute head Mark Mullins
GTA Bonafides: Has a large number of business clients in Toronto
Fun Fact: Played hockey professionally in France

What was your first job? “Baling hay as a farm labourer in northern Alberta. I was 14.”

When was your conservative awakening? “I met Peter Lougheed in 1971. I was very attracted to his style. I’ve been a Progressive Conservative ever since.”

Who’s your political icon? “Well, Peter Lougheed.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Apocalypse Now. It really is a political movie.”

What languages do you speak? “English, French and a little German, and I fake Italian very well.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Taking my two golden retrievers for a walk with my wife in the forest in West Vancouver, then snuggling in front of the fireplace.”

What are your go-to news sources?Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Globe and Mail and the Economist.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “That I know of? No. But I probably have.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Meet with my caucus—and move my golden retrievers into Sussex Drive.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t want to answer that at all.”

Who’s your least favourite competitor in the leadership race? “Not this one either.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Leading Canada down a path of indebtedness and ruin.”

Donald Trump is… “Decisive. Doesn’t mean he’s right.”

Canadian values are… “Real, but you can’t screen people for them.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Playing hockey against the Varsity Blues in 1970.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “I love staying at One King West. The lobby bar is great for meeting people, people-watching or just having a drink.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Michael Ondaatje. He’s my favourite CanLit figure.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Blue Jays.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I understand the city, and I’m the candidate best able to connect Ontario and Quebec with the rest of Canada.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Michael Chong

Hometown: Nichol Township, Ontario
Residence: Fergus, Ontario
Education: BA in philosophy (U of T)
Conservative Type: Red Tory
Big Idea: Implement a carbon tax, give MPs freedom to act individually
Years in Office: 13
Past Life: Tech worker and NHLPA staff
Claim to Fame: Resigned from Harper’s cabinet in protest of a bill about Quebec
Endorsements: MPs Peter Kent and David Tilson
GTA Bonafides: Lived in the city for 14 years
Fun Fact: Co-founded precursor to Historica, which makes Heritage Minutes

What was your first job? “Farmhand on a beef cattle farm in my teens.”

When was your conservative awakening? “I volunteered with Perrin Beatty’s campaign in high school and then joined a campus club in my first year at U of T.”

Who’s your political icon? “Perrin Beatty, and his style of consensus building.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Yes Minister is always good for a laugh. I also love Lynne Olson’s book about Winston Churchill, Troublesome Young Men.”

What languages do you speak? “English, French and some Dutch.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Going on a wilderness canoe trip.”

What are your go-to news sources? “For international, New York Times, Washington Post and the Guardian; for domestic, National Newswatch and Google News.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “No.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Introduce our first budget proposal, which would include one of the largest income tax cuts in Canadian history.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I haven’t decided yet.”

Who’s your least favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I don’t agree with Kellie Leitch or Steven Blaney’s visions for the party. They’re playing to anti-immigrant fear.”

Justin Trudeau is… “A on style, C on substance.”

Donald Trump is… “The duly elected president of the United States that Canada has to work with.”

Canadian values are… “Enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our laws and our Constitution.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “My father used to take us into old Chinatown once or twice a year to stock up on rice and Chinese groceries, and go to a Chinese restaurant.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “U of T, St. George campus, where I met my wife.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Drake’s kind of cool.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Maple Leafs.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I lived here, went to school here and worked here. I understand the challenges Torontonians face, and I’d make sure the voice of both urban and rural Canada are included in my government.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Erin O’Toole

Hometown: Montreal and Bowmanville, Ontario
Residence: Bowmanville, Ontario
Education: BA (Royal Military College), law (Dalhousie)
Conservative Type: Fiscal conservative
Big Idea: Double defence spending and increase support for veterans
Years in Office: 5
Past Life: Corporate lawyer, helicopter pilot with the RCAF
Claim to Fame: Cleaned up veteran affairs file after Julian Fantino
Endorsements: N.S. PC leader Jamie Baillie, former N.S. premier John Hamm
GTA Bonafides: Worked at various Toronto law firms, including Heenan Blaikie
Fun Fact: His father, John O’Toole, was a longtime MPP in the same riding

What was your first job? “Dishwasher at the Fifth Wheel truck stop in Bowmanville. I was about 15.”

When was your conservative awakening? “When my dad ran from the PC nomination in our riding.”

Who’s your political icon? “I’m a huge Churchillian, and my dad is a political hero, too.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Power, a film about political organizers.”

What languages do you speak? “English and French.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Doing whatever my kids want. My daughter loves movies and my son loves wrecking stuff.”

What are your go-to news sources?Post and the Globe.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “Not fallen for them, but discovered them.”

What was it? “The Harper government throwing out books and destroying libraries.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “My Generation Kickstart tax changes for young people.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I have considerable respect for Lisa Raitt and Kellie Leitch, even if there are things on which I disagree with them fundamentally.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Out of control on the economy.”

Donald Trump is… “Moving a little too fast.”

Canadian values are… “Taking advantage of the gifts and opportunities that you have and that the country gives you.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Going up the CN Tower with relatives from England.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “The Beaches boardwalk. My wife is from Halifax, and it reminded her of the East Coast ocean lifestyle.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Mike Myers. He’s like me: middle-class kid who grew up in a neighbourhood with tons of kids around, getting into trouble.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “I’m a diehard Leafs fan, but I’ve been very proud of the Jays’ recent run. I’ve met José Baustista a few times, and he’s wonderful.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I’m a product of the GTA, and I want to make sure there are opportunities for the next generation.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Maxime Bernier

Hometown: Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec
Residence: Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec
Education: BA in commerce (UQAM), law (University of Ottawa)
Conservative Type: Libertarian
Big Idea: Cut taxes, kill quotas, deregulate everything
Years in Office: 11
Past Life: Banker, vice-president of the Montreal Economic Institute
Claim to Fame: Embroiled in scandal when he left classified NATO documents at his girlfriend’s house
Endorsements: MP and former leadership hopeful Tony Clement
GTA Bonafides: Has done the CN Tower EdgeWalk and run a Toronto marathon
Fun Fact: Once ran 106 kilometres across his riding for charity

What was your first job? “Dishwasher at a restaurant. I was about 16.”

When was your conservative awakening? “After university, when I was working and knew the cost of living, I saw how much was being taken from my salary in taxes.”

Who’s your political icon? “Margaret Thatcher. She put up a fight and didn’t compromise on her principles.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Race for the White House, about the presidential candidates who didn’t win.”

What languages do you speak? “English and French.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Skiing with my daughters and my girlfriend.

What are your go-to news sources?Globe, Post, La Presse and National Newswatch.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “No.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Make a strong cabinet and work on our budget.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I don’t want to impose my view on the members.”

Who’s your least favourite competitor in the leadership race? “That’s the same answer.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Irresponsible with the future generation.”

Donald Trump is… “Trying to implement reform in the U.S. I know, it’s a political line.”

Canadian values are… “Freedom, personal responsibility and equality.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Visiting family when I was 18 or so.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “The Albany Club. Also, all the restaurants—we used to say Montreal had more choices, but that’s not true anymore.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “I like Michael Wekerle from Dragon’s Den. He’s working with me now on my campaign.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Raptors.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I will give them more freedom through lower taxes and less government.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Brad Trost

Hometown: Langenburg, Saskatchewan
Residence: Saskatoon
Education: Bachelor’s degrees in economics and geophysics (U Saskatchewan)
Conservative Type: Social conservative
Big Idea: Reopen the debates on abortion and same-sex marriage
Years in Office: 13
Past Life: Geophysicist
Claim to Fame: Only MP to vote against establishing a gender equality week
Endorsements: Anti-abortion group Campaign Life Coalition
Fun Fact: Taught English in Russia for a year after high school

What was your first job? “Newspaper carrier for the Regina Leader-Post.”

When was your conservative awakening? “My family had fled the Communists, and we had no truck with the political left. That’s how I grew up, and then I worked on about 10 campaigns.”

Who’s your political icon? “Good things from different people: Burke, Reagan, Thatcher, E.C. Manning.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—corny but good. And the British Yes Minister. After this job, it’s not comedy, it’s documentary.”

What languages do you speak? “English, French (with a substantive accent, to put it mildly), and a bit of Russian and German.”

What’s your ideal day off? “It’s not really up to me. I’m wrapped around my two-year-old’s finger.”

What are your go-to news sources? “Aggregators like RealClearWorld and National Newswatch.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “I don’t think so, but I’m used to dealing with it.”

What was it? “Almost every campaign, one of my opponents has released a fake poll.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Start a major overhaul of the tax system.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “Lemieux for social issues, Bernier for economics, Blaney for security, Chong for democratic reform.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Without vision and a plan.”

Donald Trump is… “Exciting and disorganized.”

Canadian values are… “Saskatchewan Roughriders, Tim Hortons, hockey and curling.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Attending a Conservative convention around 2007.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “My wife is Asian, but it’s hard to find good Asian food in Saskatoon. There are a lot of great Korean places near the Eaton Centre.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Wendel Clark, Saskatchewan’s contribution to Toronto.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Blue Jays. They’re not in any rivalry with my teams.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I may be from rural Saskatchewan, but my family looks like it’s from downtown Toronto: a mix of Colombian, Mongolian, Chinese and German. It’s the new face of Canada, and I reflect that.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Kellie Leitch

Hometown: Winnipeg and Fort McMurray
Residence: Creemore, Ontario
Education: BA (Queen’s), MD (U of T), MBA (Dalhousie)
Conservative Type: Nationalist
Big Idea: Screen immigrants for Canadian values
Years in Office: 6
Past Life: Paediatric orthopaedic surgeon
Claim to Fame: An incredibly awkward eight-minute video about Canadian values
Endorsements: MP Peter Van Loan, Council of European Canadians
GTA Bonafides: Lived here for 13 years
Fun Fact: Occasionally plays on a basketball team of Conservative MPs

What was your first job? “Raking gravel for my father’s construction company. I was 11 or so.”

When was your conservative awakening? “My dad recruited me to help organize a youth association for the federal Progressive Conservatives in Fort McMurray.”

Who’s your political icon? “Margaret Thatcher. She was strong, had principled views and wasn’t afraid to act on them.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?The West Wing.”

What languages do you speak? “English, and my French has gone from a zero to a six out of 10.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Ideal? Taking my father to Machu Picchu, so I could hike, see something historical and enjoy some awesome Peruvian food.”

What are your go-to news sources? “A wide range: Sun, Post and the Globe.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “No. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Appoint an outstanding cabinet of qualified Canadians.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “All have strengths. It’s like a cabinet-in-waiting.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Incapable of implementing a plan on economy or immigration.”

Donald Trump is… “The president of the United States.”

Canadian values are… “A shared value set that includes hard work, generosity, freedom, tolerance and equality of opportunity. It’s an easy question to answer. I’ve been doing it for six months.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “In 1981, when I was 11, after I’d won my school science fair, I went to the national science fair competition at York. I’ll never forget going to the Science Centre, IBM and the CN Tower.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “The waterfront on Queens Quay, for running and sailing.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “Mike Myers.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Raptors. I used to play a lot of basketball.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “The city has enormous potential and I’ll make sure it’s reached by providing every citizen with the opportunity to work hard, get ahead, take care of their families and be proud Canadians.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Andrew Scheer

Hometown: Ottawa
Residence: Regina
Education: BA in history (U of Ottawa)
Conservative Type: Harper-ite
Big Idea: Repeal carbon tax, add property rights to the Charter
Years in Office: 13
Past Life: Insurance broker
Claim to Fame: Youngest-ever House speaker
Endorsements: The most of any candidate, including former MP Chuck Strahl
GTA Bonafides: Spent time in the city with his grandparents as a child
Fun Fact: Is an active member of the Knights of Columbus

What was your first job? “Making popcorn at Senators and Rough Riders games. I still love popcorn.”

When was your conservative awakening? “When the Berlin Wall came down, I asked my parents a ton of questions about Communism. That gave me some libertarian leanings.”

Who’s your political icon? “Margaret Thatcher, for a Conservative agenda that lasted long past her time in office. Ronald Reagan, for making it positive to be Conservative. And Jason Kenney, for his work ethic and devoting his life to what he believes in.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?The Thick of It. Just hilarious.”

What languages do you speak? “English, French, and a bit of German and Latin.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Sleep in, a big bacon-and-eggs breakfast, some sports with my family and, at the end of the evening, get the popcorn out and watch a classic movie.”

What are your go-to news sources? “Apart from scrolling through the mainstream media, iPolitics, Huffington Post, the Rebel and the Twitter feeds of writers I respect.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “Not fake news, but I fell for a satirical piece.”

What was it? “Soccer league removes ball from games to avoid unhealthy competition.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Draft legislation to repeal the carbon tax.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “Other than the obvious choice of Deepak? I’m undecided.”

Justin Trudeau is… “Dangerously out of touch, steering us to a bleak economic future.”

Donald Trump is… “As advertised.”

Canadian values are… “Rooted in freedom, equality, tolerance and the rule of law.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Going to the Ex with my aunts.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “Union Station’s grand hall and the Queen’s Park grounds.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “John Candy.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Blue Jays. I was raised a Leafs fan, but when Ottawa got a team, the Leafs kicked us out of the playoffs four years in a row.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “I will create policies that speak to both large cities and small towns.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Lisa Raitt

Hometown: Cape Breton
Residence: Milton
Education: BA (St. Francis Xavier), MSc (Guelph), law (Osgoode Hall)
Conservative Type: Fiscal conservative
Big Idea: Cut taxes across the board, invest in healthcare and infrastructure
Years in Office: 9
Past Life: CEO of the Toronto Port Authority
Claim to Fame: Has been minister of transport, labour and natural resources
Endorsements: Niagara MP Dean Allison and Milton mayor Gord Krantz
GTA Bonafides: Lived here for a decade
Fun Fact: Helped launch Bell Let’s Talk

What was your first job? “Working at the local Dairy Queen, when I was 11.”

When was your conservative awakening? “When I moved to Ontario and worked at the Toronto Port Authority, I realized very clearly I liked the way Harper was managing the country.”

Who’s your political icon? “Jim Flaherty, Jim Prentice and Stockwell Day all guided me on my path.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?In the Loop and The Thick of It. Hilarious writing, vulgar as can be.”

What languages do you speak? “English, working on French—and a great Cape Breton accent.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Take my kids skiing at Glen Eden.”

What are your go-to news sources? “My iPhone. I’ve curated my Twitter feed diligently.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “Yes—a long time ago.”

What was it? “A fake teachers’ contract, supposedly from 1921, of how they were supposed to behave. It looked totally believable!”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Lower taxes.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I haven’t decided yet. I need to see how they react to adversity.”

Justin Trudeau is… “What comes to mind is not something I want you to print. He’s dangerous to our trade negotiations.”

Donald Trump is… “Going to lower taxes in the United States.”

Canadian values are… “Tolerance, hard work and social mobility—being able to start from the bottom of a hill in Sydney, like I did, and run for the Conservative leadership.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “Visiting my aunt and uncle in 1974. I was amazed—it was such a big city. It was the first time I had McDonald’s and Swiss Chalet.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “Toronto Harbour. I got to know it so very well.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “It’s gotta be Drake. The Weeknd is a close second.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “That’s not fair. You can’t choose. But Raptors right now.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “Whether you’re living in the suburbs, downtown or struggling to make ends meet, I’ve lived those experiences. I’ll always keep that in the back of mind when making policy for Canadians.”

Trump-o-Meter:

 


 

Steven Blaney

Hometown: Sherbrooke and Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Quebec
Residence: Lévis, Quebec
Education: BSc in civil engineering (U of Sherbrooke), MBA (U of Quebec)
Conservative Type: Nationalist
Big Idea: Lower immigration numbers, ban niqab during voting, dismantle indigenous reserves
Years in Office: 11
Past Life: Engineer, entrepreneur, consultant
Claim to Fame: Brain behind the controversial C-51 anti-terrorism bill
Endorsements: Senators Jean-Guy Dagenais and Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu
GTA Bonafides: Spent a summer here in the early ’80s
Fun Fact: First carbon-neutral MP (planted trees to offset offices emissions)

What was your first job? “Cleaning dishes at a French restaurant in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce.”

When was your conservative awakening? “I was the president of my engineering student association in university, and I first ran for office in 1998.”

Who’s your political icon? “Daniel Johnson, Sr., one of the true architects of the Quiet Revolution.”

What’s your favourite political movie or TV show?24/60, CBC’s show with Anne-Marie Dussault.”

What languages do you speak? “French, and English with a French accent.”

What’s your ideal day off? “Skiing with my family at Massif du Sud.”

What are your go-to news sources? “The web, but no outlet in particular.”

Have you ever fallen for fake news? “These are not the usual questions! Oh my. More often, I hear real news that I think is fake, like Mr. Trump claiming he was wiretapped.”

What’s the first thing you’d do as PM? “Work on the budget and cut wasteful spending.”

Who’s your favourite competitor in the leadership race? “They’re all my second choice.”

Who’s your least favourite competitor in the leadership race? “I am confident that our members will be a fortress for our Conservative values, and that the leader will reflect those values.”

Justin Trudeau is… “A charismatic person who has great qualities and can connect with people, but has hard time with making tough decisions in the best interest of the country.”

Donald Trump is… “The president of our major trade partner. It is in our best interest to maintain an excellent relationship with the White House.”

Canadian values are… “Principles entrenched in our Constitution, including equality between men and women, the rule of law, and freedom of expression and religion.”

What’s your first memory of Toronto? “An English immersion class at Glendon College.”

What’s your favourite place in Toronto? “A bar that doesn’t exist anymore: Nuts and Bolts.”

Who’s your favourite Toronto celebrity? “This may be controversial: Rob Ford. He was a very charismatic and strong person who certainly put Toronto on the map.”

Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays? “Raptors. They’ve been high on the city’s emotion lately.”

Torontonians should vote for you because… “Toronto is a reflection of what Canada is becoming, and we need to keep it that way by welcoming a lot of new Canadians in a respectful manner.”

Trump-o-Meter:

Pierre Lemieux did not respond to interview requests by press time.