Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary scrums with the media after speaking at the Empire Club luncheon in Toronto. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

O’Leary out of Tory race

OTTAWA — Celebrity investor and reality-TV star Kevin O’Leary is quitting the federal Conservative leadership race and throwing his support behind Quebec rival Maxime Bernier.

The Canadian Press has confirmed O’Leary is making the announcement later today.

Bernier, for his part, has scheduled a news conference in Toronto, where the candidates are scheduled to face each other in a final debate showdown before next month’s vote.

O’Leary was widely seen as the front-runner in the race, but he doesn’t believe he will be able to win a federal election because of a lack of support in Quebec.

A lack of facility with French was always considered one of O’Leary’s greatest liabilities.

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