Conservative leadership hopeful Lisa Raitt told party members Thursday that a culture of wealth and entitlement has made Prime Minister Trudeau out of touch with average working Canadians.
“If you look at Justin, no fault of his own, but he is an entitled young man who has been given everything he ever wanted,” Raitt said. “He has never had to work a day in his life if he chose not to, which is very different than having to work from a very young age.”
Raitt was addressing party supporters during a whistle stop at Fionn MacCools. She spoke briefly about her platform before opening the floor to questions ranging from legalized pot and Donald Trump to lower taxes, climate change and immigration. Several times during her talk she reflected on her humble roots as the daughter of young single mother and being raised by her grandparents in Cape Breton.
“I am very proud of the fact that I worked at our local Dairy Queen for 17 years,” she said. “I shouldn’t be standing here pitching to you today on being prime minister except for the fact that Canada is an incredible country that allows somebody like me to have that opportunity.”
Raitt holds a bachelor-of-science degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, a masters degree in chemistry from the University of Guelph, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is the Conservative MP for the riding of Milton. Before going into politics she was CEO for the Toronto Port Authority.
She lives in Milton with her husband Bruce Wood and her two sons by a previous marriage, John Collin, 15 and Billy, 12.
Both her grandfather and stepfather were involved in Liberal politics in Cape Breton but she was inspired to run on the Conservative ticket after meeting former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She was first elected in 2008 as MP for the riding of Halton and went on to serve as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Labour and Minister of Transport.
She is critical of Trudeau’s leadership and his government’s policies.
“He broke every promise he made,” she said. “You cannot take him at his word. People on the left and right that supported the Liberals in the last election will remember those broken promises.”
She is even critical of campaign promises Trudeau has kept such as legalizing marijuana.
“I understand they won the election on that basis,” she said. “They are going to legalize it and that’s okay but 18 years of age is way too young. I am voting against the legislation as it is and as prime minister I would roll the age to 25.”
She would also abandon Trudeau’s policies on climate change and commitment to the Paris Climate Accord.
“They have called me a climate denier in the past and I am not,” said Raitt. “I am actually the one with the master’s degree in environmental chemistry for goodness sake. We can shut off every light and power plant in Canada and it will make no difference on the world scale.”
She said introducing a carbon tax would make our economy less competitive and she would reduce and reform the tax system to encourage private investment.
“Cutting taxes works every single time and has worked in the past,” she said. “We have more tax collectors in this country than soldiers in the Canadian Forces.”