OTTAWA – Some recent and past statements by Conservative leadership contestant Kevin O’Leary:
Jan. 18, 2017: “Canadians are looking for a prime minister who is not a career politician; a prime minister who will fight for them, and is not afraid to tell them how it is. They also want a prime minister who will be inclusive and not lower themselves to use divisive politics.”
Jan. 11, 2016: “I mean no disrespect when I say this, but here’s my offer: I’ll invest $1 million in Canadian energy companies if, out of grace and for the absolute good of Canada, the premier of Alberta resigns.” — interview with NewsTalk 1010.
On Senate reform:
Jan. 15, 2017: “I don’t know why we can’t have a hundred thousand or a couple of hundred thousand committed each year per senator…. Instead of it being a cost centre to Canada, why can’t it be a profit centre?” — interview on CTV’s “Question Period” in which O’Leary sarcastically suggests selling off Senate seats.
On health care:
October 2016: “Why should a dog in this country get an MRI before an elderly person with a fractured hip?” — CTV’s “Question Period” on whether he supports two-tier health care.
On bilingualism and his own lack of French:
Jan. 12, 2017: “Out of respect for Quebec and French Canadians, I feel it makes more sense to abstain from the French debate until I am more proficient.”
May 26, 2016: “The world doesn’t care anymore what language you speak, unless it’s the language of job creation and economic growth.” — Maclean’s magazine.
On the military:
Dec. 16, 2016: “There is nothing proud about being a warrior.” — interview with CFRA radio station in Ottawa.
Jan 14, 2016: “I would like Canada to be very involved in peace initiatives, not war.” — interview with The Canadian Press.
On Trudeau vs. Trump:
Nov. 24, 2016: “I think Trump versus Trudeau is Godzilla versus Bambi. It’s going to end very badly.” — interview with CBC.
On O’Leary vs Trump:
Jan 14, 2016: “I understand what he is doing with the media, and you can certainly claim I am trying to do the same, but I am not Donald Trump.”
Jan. 18, 2017: “I’ve spent my whole life as an investor, I know what Trump does, he knows what I do. I think we’ll be very good together getting deals done because that’s what matters.”
March 2011: “I’ve never made a mistake like that before, and because it was a mistake, I did apologize. But I believe what I say. I don’t say things without thinking about them. You may not agree with me, but … as far as I’m concerned we need a lot more Kevin O’Learys in Canada.” — interview with The Globe and Mail after he was rebuked by the CBC ombudsman for using the term “Indian giver.”
On climate change:
January 2014: “I know the difference between hot and cold and we are not getting warm.” — CBC, “The Lang and O’Leary Exchange.”
On income inequality:
Jan. 20, 2014: “It’s fantastic. This is a great thing because it inspires everybody — gets the motivation to look up to the 1 per cent and say, ‘I want to become one of those people. I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top.'” — CBC, “The Lang and O’Leary Exchange.”
Jan. 27, 2014: “No, I don’t think poverty is fantastic. I don’t think income disparity is fantastic. What I think is how successful capitalism has been over the last 100 years reducing poverty and reducing income disparity.” — CBC, “The Lang and O’Leary Exchange.”