Black woman runs for leadership of Conservative Party

Meet Jamaica-born  Leslyn Lewis.

Leslyn Lewis

She  is one of four candidates who are on  the  ballot  for the Conservative leadership race which has entered its final phase following the deadline last Friday for party membership sales.

The other candidates are Peter MacKay, a forner deputy leader of the Conservative Party of Canada who held several Cabinet positions, Erin O’ Toole, MP for Durham and a former Minister of Veteran Affairs and Derek Sloan, MP for Hastings—Lennox and Addington.

All four candidates are lawyers.

Political observers say that Lewis is not considered a “front runner” in the race to choose a successor to Andrew Scheer, who announced his pending resignation as Conservative leader.

But on her website. Lewis says she wants to serve Canada as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada ” because I see the opportunities that I had as a young woman being undermined – even within our own party.”

“Canadians can and should expect much more from their leaders.”

Lewis  notes that her parents migrated to Canada from Jamaica ” leaving everything behind so their six children could have a better life.

” I arrived in East York a wide-eyed five year old with no idea what to expect. But the values of Canada and Canadians that I discovered – generosity, equal opportunity, and hard work – were everything that my parents hoped for their children.”

” I watched my mother work 80 hours a week to give her children a better life, and by following her example I was able to graduate with a Bachelors Degree from the University of Toronto, Trinity College graduating Magna Cum Laude, a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, an MBA Concentration in Business and Environment from the Schulich School of Business and a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School and a PhD in Law from Osgoode Hall Law School.”

Lewis says Canada must remain a country  “where we can earn a fair wage, pay our bills without worry, and leave our children better off tomorrow than they are today. Canadians want to see competence from their leaders in their approach to the economy, the environment, and our resource and farming sectors.

” Canadians are looking for a Conservative party with the courage to hold fast to the foundational values of democracy. The government should exist to serve the citizens and not the other way around.”

“We must be a country where the freedom of religion, conscience and expression are upheld.”

On March 26  last the  Conservative Party of Canada had suspended activities relating to its June 27 leadership election due to the current coronavirus pandemic crisis and on April 29 last it announced that the race would proceed by postal ballot with the election itself being rescheduled from June to August.

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, there has still not been a single debate involving the candidates.

Instead the leadership race has become a  campaign  conducted by teleconferences, Zoom calls, emails and social media pitches

The party hopes to hold leadership debates in June, but details have not been  worked out.

To be counted, ballots are to be completed and received by August 21.