Former Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch, who campaigned for a “values” test to screen new Canadians, will not seek re-election in 2019, CTV News has learned.
Leitch finished sixth in the Tory leadership race last year, running on a controversial platform that drew comparisons to U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration. Leitch was among those celebrating Trump’s election victory in November of 2016, calling it an “exciting message that needs to be delivered to Canada as well.”
She’s also known for championing a proposed hotline for reporting so-called “barbaric cultural practices” as part of the Conservative platform in the 2015 election.
Leitch confirmed her departure from politics to CTV News on Wednesday. When asked if she wished she had done anything differently, she said: “No.”
Leitch, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon by trade, served under two different cabinet posts under former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer issued a statement on Wednesday to thank Leitch for her years of service to the party.
“Bringing her unique background in medicine to public life, Kellie was instrumental in developing the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, an important benefit for families that was a major legacy of our previous Conservative Government,” the statement read. “We have all come to greatly respect Kellie’s experience, ability and passion for public service. As she completes her term as a Member of Parliament and prepares for the next chapter of her life, we wish her all the best.”
On flight to Victoria to cover Conservative Caucus. @KellieLeitch on board. Confirms she is not running in 2019. Asked her if she wishes she’d done anything differently. Shakes her head “no.”— Omar Sachedina (@omarsachedina) January 24, 2018
Chatting with @KellieLeitch’s colleagues at the departure gate at YVR, they appeared surprised by her news.— Omar Sachedina (@omarsachedina) January 24, 2018