'Times have changed': Tory leadership contenders declaring intentions
Published Thursday, October 22, 2015 2:05PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 22, 2015 6:33PM EDT
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel openly mused about making a run for her party's leadership on Twitter Wednesday, adding her name to a list of others that are being openly discussed as potential candidates.
Rempel took to Twitter to share her thoughts, days after the Conservative caucus was reduced to just 99 seats in the federal election.
Her tweets are the most public indication yet that the Tories may soon have their first leadership candidate, especially when compared to her Conservatives colleagues, none of whom have confirmed their intention to run.
In a series of tweets, the 35-year-old MP appeared to engage in a debate with herself about her strengths and weaknesses, including the suggestion she's too young to take the job, and the strength of her French-language skills.
"Just not ready is no longer an argument. Times have changed," she tweeted, noting that her party "can reflect all of Canada," and has "some pretty incredible people."
Later, in an apparent swipe at her detractors, she tweeted, "These are the things we face. I am competent, proven, and ready. Here's the question – are you ready for someone like me?"
On election night, the Conservative Party president confirmed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was stepping down as the Conservative leader, and an interim leader would be appointed until the party selects a new one.
On Tuesday, a leadership committee was struck, according to The Canadian Press, and on Thursday MP Diane Finley put her name forward to run for interim leader.
Rona Ambrose, MP elect for Sturgeon River-Parkland and the outgoing Conservative Minister of Health, wouldn’t confirm or deny any plans to run for the party’s leadership.
“I, like all of the senior leaders in our party, are talking a lot to one another about the future of the party,” she told CTV’s Power Play on Thursday.
Asked whether she thinks it’s time for a woman to lead the party, Ambrose said she is “sure” that “women will throw their hats in the ring.”
“I’ll be there to contribute in any way that I can,” she said.
Businessman Mark Mulroney, son of former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, said Thursday that he wasn't interested in running, at least for now.
"No. But that being said, you never say never to these things," he told CP, noting that he's happy to help the party.
"It's not something that hasn't crossed my mind and my brother's mind, but I'm focused on the job at hand."
Mark Mulroney works as the head of capital equity markets at National Bank, and his brother, Ben Mulroney, is a broadcaster with CTV.
Conservative MPs Lisa Raitt, Jason Kenney, Kellie Leitch, Tony Clement, and Michael Chong have also all been discussed as possible candidates.
Meanwhile, other notable past and present politicians have ruled out making a bid for the job.
Former Progressive Conservative leader Jean Charest and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall have both said they do not intend to run for the leadership.
With files from The Canadian Press