You emerged from relative obscurity to win the Ontario PC leadership in a landslide. Get us up to speed: who are you and where did you come from?
I’ve been a Conservative party soldier at various levels for the last 22 years. I got my law degree in Windsor, spent two terms on Barrie council and then three terms in the House of Commons. I was so frustrated after the Ontario PC party’s defeat that I decided to get involved.
Your dad ran federally for the NDP; your mom was a schoolteacher. How did you wind up a diehard Conservative?
I wrote a letter to Brian Mulroney in grade school about acid rain. He responded, and I liked what he said. I told my parents, “I think I agree with the Conservative party.”
They didn’t try to sway you to the left?
No. They were just happy that I took an interest in politics. In fact, my dad has since become a Conservative.
Who is your Conservative patron saint?
It’s hard to pick just one. If I could patch together various Conservative qualities, I’d say Jean Charest’s passion, John A. Macdonald’s nation-building, Narendra Modi’s ability to link education to employment, and Thatcher’s boldness.
You attended St. Michael’s College for high school. Are you religious? Read the rest of this entry »
Not really. I was more into hockey.
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