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Race for the next Conservative leader begins as Poilievre announces his bid

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OTTAWA -

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre has launched his bid for the party's leadership by declaring he's running to be the next prime minister.

In a three minute video released on social media tonight, Poilievre criticizes government spending and says he wants to make "Canadians the freest people on earth."

Poilievre doesn't mention the Conservative party by name or the contest, saying only that he wants the job as prime minister.

Poilievre is the first candidate to announce his intention to run for the party's top spot after MPs forced Erin O'Toole out of the position only three days earlier.

Many Conservatives regarded Poilievre, an Ottawa-area MP and the party's finance critic, as a natural front-runner in the race.

Poilievre is throwing his hat into the ring before the race has officially begun and the party's election committee doesn't yet exist and no rules have been released.

As such, he can't begin fundraising.

A document attached to his launch video lists one of the options for supporters to choose to help is by purchasing memberships to vote for Poilievre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2022.

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