One of the five people seeking the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada made a brief stop in Weyburn Friday.
Scott Aitchison is the MP for the riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka in Ontario. He explained after serving as the mayor of Huntsville, Ontario for five years, he decided to make the leap to federal politics. When he got there, though, he found himself frustrated with the number of people who were there for their own ego.
He also found himself realizing that Canadians were getting frustrated by the divisiveness of politics.
“Canadians are frustrated, I think, by partisan rhetoric and nastiness, and then, of course, they’re tired of this Liberal government too,” Atchison said while sitting down with reporters at Welsh Kitchen in Weyburn.
Aitchison has been noted for his willingness to work with the other parties to get things accomplished in Ottawa. Notably, he was commended by federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan for his help on adding an extension of bereavement leave for grieving parents who work in federally regulated industries in Bill C-3. Aitchison had been the one to approach O’Regan regarding the bill.
Aitchison also stated that he joined the race because he brings to the table the experience of being a leader, after his time serving as the mayor of Huntsville.
“The biggest reason I got into the race is because my observation is there are a lot of people in Ottawa in leadership positions that don’t know the first thing about leadership,” Aitchison said. “I believe that leadership is about engaging and empowering and inspiring the team around you to do great things, so I’m running for the job of team leader.“
Aitchison also recognized that the party needs to expand its reach. While there is strong support for the Conservatives in rural areas and western Canada, they will need to make inroads in places such as the Toronto area, and lower mainland British Columbia, where the Liberals and New Democrats have held the majority of seats in recent years.
“Unless we can win seats in those places as well, we’ll never form a government,” Aitchison noted. “We need to speak to the issues of the people in those areas as well as the people who support us in rural parts of the country.”
There are four other candidates who are seeking the leadership of the Conservative Party. They include Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis, Jean Charest and Roman Baber.
The Conservative Party of Canada will be holding their leadership convention in Ottawa on September 10th.