Conservative stalwart Scott Reid backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis for leadership

Conservative stalwart Scott Reid backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis for leadership

OTTAWA — One of the longest-serving Conservative members of Parliament is backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis in that party’s leadership race.

Ontario MP Scott Reid announced he’s endorsing Lewis in the contest, which is set to wrap up in just under two months.

Reid says the last time he was this excited about a leadership candidate was in 2004, when Stephen Harper became the boss of the newly formed Conservative party.

The party was the result of a merger between the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties; Reid had been a negotiator for the Alliance side in the move.

The leader of the PC’s at the time? Peter MacKay — one of three candidates currently running against Lewis.

The others are two sitting MPs: Erin O’Toole and Derek Sloan.

Reid took a swipe at MacKay in his endorsement letter for Lewis, alleging MacKay will toss MPs off the front benches if they vote for pro-life policies.

Reid says Lewis is the only candidate who has made it clear that MPs will not be disciplined for voting in accordance with their consciences or the wishes of their constituents.

He’s found himself in trouble on that score, disclosing in a public essay late last year that he was disciplined by current leader Andrew Scheer for supporting the legalization of cannabis.

He’d done so after polling his constituents and finding them in favour of that approach.

Reid has been an MP since 2000, and currently represents the Ontario riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston.

He and fellow Ontario MP Cheryl Gallant are the longest serving Tories in the House of Commons. She has endorsed MacKay.

Reid’s endorsement of Lewis comes ahead of the party mailing out ballots to the membership. Those have to be returned by Aug. 21 and the winner is expected to be announced the following week.

Lewis, a Toronto-based lawyer, has never held elected office, though she tried and failed to win for the Conservatives in a Toronto riding in 2015.

She entered the race largely unknown, championing socially conservative views and policies, and her campaign has steadily been picking up steam, both in endorsements and donations.

Reid said she alone understands what it will take for the party to win.

“A party of ideas and policy innovation, like ours, can only win if it builds a broad-based coalition, built on a multiplicity of ideas and ideals,” he wrote in his endorsement letter, circulated by the Lewis campaign.

“More than any other candidate in recent memory, Leslyn Lewis understands this, and she articulates it beautifully.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

College expects lower enrolment but president remains optimistic

International travel restrictions will have big impact on foreign students

Alberta’s active COVID-19 cases continue to trend downwards

85 new cases Tuesday, active cases sit at 1,004

Overwhelming majority of Red Deer students could be back in classrooms this fall

Preliminary survey results show 94 per cent parental support

Some Red Deer County residents oppose a gravel pit proposed for a flood-prone area

Howell’s Excavation co-owner says the proposal meets or exceeds standards

Workers at Regina linen company contract COVID-19 but facility safe: officials

REGINA — Health officials say 18 employees at a linen facility in… Continue reading

Alberta reports 257 new cases of COVID-19

The Alberta government reported 257 new cases of COVID-19 in its latest… Continue reading

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez notches upset in first round of Top Seed Open

Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez notches upset in first round of Top Seed Open

Healthy ace Scherzer pitches Nats past Mets 2-1 for 1st win

Healthy ace Scherzer pitches Nats past Mets 2-1 for 1st win

Portland beats Orlando 2-1 to claim MLS is Back championship

Portland beats Orlando 2-1 to claim MLS is Back championship

First-round back-to-backs favour NHL teams with 2 top goalies

First-round back-to-backs favour NHL teams with 2 top goalies

NHL pushes game back a day after 4 overtimes in playoff opener

NHL pushes game back a day after 4 overtimes in playoff opener

Lightning outlast Blue Jackets 3-2 in 5 OT thriller

Lightning outlast Blue Jackets 3-2 in 5 OT thriller

Shaw, Blue Jays beat Marlins 5-4 in MLB’s return to Buffalo

Shaw, Blue Jays beat Marlins 5-4 in MLB’s return to Buffalo

Most Read