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Region’s PC candidates back Christine Elliott to lead party into the election

MPP Michael Harris
MPP Michael Harris

Christine Elliott is the choice of local candidates as Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives scramble to pick a new leader ahead of a June election.

PC Ontario politicians in Waterloo Region endorsed the former Whitby-Oshawa MPP in a joint statement last week. Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris, Kitchener South-Hespeler candidate Amy Fee, and Kitchener-Centre candidate Mary Henein Thorn said they were “united with Christine.”

“In my time working with Christine at Queen’s Park I recognized then, first-hand, the qualities of leadership and determination mixed with compassion that will unite and guide our Ontario PC family,” said MPP Harris in the statement.

“As leader, she will listen to the people of Ontario and champion good ideas that move this province forward.”

Elliott, a seasoned member of the PC party, announced her bid for the leadership February 1 in a brief social media post, saying, “I’m in!”

The politician served as MPP from 2006 to 2015, including as deputy leader. In 2016, after leaving politics, Elliot was appointed as the Patient Ombudsman for Ontario. Elliott had previously run for party leader in the last race but lost to Patrick Brown, who recently stepped down from the position.

“For 15 years, we’ve been divided and losing elections to Liberals, and our province is in trouble. We need a leader who is ready now – to win, and to lead,” said Elliott on social media.

The former party leader, Brown, resigned from his post last month after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him in the media. His sudden departure has left the party searching for a new leader in short order before the general election in June.

Besides Elliott, Caroline Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, and Doug Ford, the Toronto politician and brother of former city mayor Rob Ford, have announced their bids for the party leadership.

Candidates have under a month left to make their case before PC members vote for their choice of leader on March 10.

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