Kevin O’Leary has been loudly vying to be Canada’s prime minister.
But would the Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den star serve as a Member of Parliament and potentially a member of cabinet if he cannot win his party’s leadership?
The outspoken businessman and TV star has not officially said what he would do if he is not successful in his bid to lead the Conservative Party. But he’s now offered a hint that he just may want to be part of the Tory team.
“The leadership race is a tight one and we don’t now who is going to win,” he told the Sun in an interview this week. “But whatever happens I am going to be part of making sure I use everything I have brought to the table, including selling thousands of memberships, and take that movement to Ottawa and help Justin find out his true calling is not running Canada.”
It seems O’Leary is getting more comfortable being a politician. Appearing relaxed he shook the hands of people who recognized him.
Mr. Wonderful has star power. Mostly though, he feels he’s making a dent.
“I sold 35,000 memberships. I don’t think anybody has sold more memberships,” he says proudly.
It may not be enough to win on a first ballot but it puts him in position to persuade the party faithful he’s the best option to defeat Trudeau.
Aiming at Trudeau is his approach. He feels the strategy of previous campaigns suggesting Trudeau was not ready to be leader of Canada is no longer a hypothesis but a reality.
“People are very concerned about the economy in Canada and what it’s going to take to get Canada growing again,” he said. “All the problems we are starting to see — breakdowns in health care, education, military spending, social net — are the result of the fact the economy hasn’t grown.”
O’Leary admits “there was a lot of optimism about Trudeau government coming in.”
That goodwill is gone.
“He is halfway into his mandate now and it’s a fail on every measure so the country is looking for a new direction,” said O’Leary.
Whether or not he comes out on top, O’Leary thinks a new prime minister is both needed and coming.
“I think that is what this leadership race is all about,” said O’Leary. “What is it going to take to put Canada back in a competitive place so we can start building an economy that supports all the promises we make to Canadians?”
Trudeau, he says, has shown his lack of ability.
“We have become very uncompetitive as a country,” said O’Leary. “Trudeau took us in the wrong direction on carbon tax, on personal tax, corporation tax,” he said. “On regulations he’s put moratoriums around all of your growth around natural resources.”
And he’s also packed on a lot of debt for future generations to pay.
Taxed out, choked out and worn it.
O’Leary thinks Canada is ready for a business approach. He doesn’t think it’s about TV stardom for Canadians but about competence.
“Justin has never run a business, never had to worry about an income statement or balance sheet. He is out there and he is a total disaster as a manager. Unfortunately when you have a disaster as a manager you have to make changes. That is what is going to happen in 2019.”