Kevin O'Leary quits Conservative leadership race, support Maxime Bernier

Laura Christensen
April 28, 2017

Businessman and "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary is out of the Canadian Conservative Party's leadership race.

Though they had thrown barbs at each other throughout the race, the two were the picture of camaraderie at a Toronto hotel Wednesday, as they met the press ahead of the final debate of the campaign.

"I worked really hard and I couldn't move the needle" in Quebec, O'Leary told reporters, standing next to Maxime Bernier, a former foreign minister whose candidacy O'Leary said he would support.

O'Leary, a reality-TV star, said Wednesday he was quitting the race because his campaign wasn't getting much traction in Quebec. This can not be allowed to happen. He's supporting Maxime but I can't support Maxime.

O'Leary first announced in January that he planned to make Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's life "absolute hell" by joining the race for Conservative leadership.

"I'm a numbers guy", O'Leary said. "I'm a team builder and work with people who are team leaders and builders and I never saw Kevin as that", says Shipley.

As O'Leary's worries peaked over the weekend, regular communications between the O'Leary and Bernier campaigns turned to the possibility of O'Leary's dropping out and backing Bernier.

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A tradition that remains, however, is the early-November launch, as Call of Duty WWII will be released on November 3, 2017. First off, screenshots showing off snippets of the game were apparently posted on the Call of Duty login page .

O'Leary says his team has sold 35,335 party memberships, including "a whole new generation of young Canadians, many of whom are new to the Conservative Party".

Bernier said that gives him the winning edge because, in his view, the polarizing O'Leary is the second choice of so few.

I am extremely strong in the West but have not generated material support in Quebec.

"Defining Quebec is...they're the Florida of Canada".

"I was shocked by his announcement", Larry Gray, vice-president of the Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative riding association, said Wednesday.

"We are going to bring our forces together now so that we can win this race and then beat Justin Trudeau in 2019", said Bernier, a Quebec libertarian who was neck-and-neck with O'Leary for much of the race.

"It would seem foolish, even selfish to win the leadership knowing that I didn't have a clear path or high probability", O'Leary said at a press conference. "O'Leary", Blaney said.

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