Michael Chong, Conservative MP told the stories of his immigrant parents during his announcement yesterday in Ottawa,
Photo Credit: CP / Adrian Wyld

Michael Chong enters Conservative leadership race

Share

Michael Chong wants to be leader of Canada’s federal Conservative Party, replacing former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who stepped down from the position following his government’s election defeat on October 19th, 2015.

Chong joins two other announced candidates, Maxime Bernier, from Quebec, and Kellie Leitch, from Ontario. Chong has represented the bedroom riding of Toronto known as Wellington – Halton Hills.

First elected in 2004 at the age of 33, he was included in Stephen Harper’s first cabinet in 2006. Eight months later, however, he resigned the position feeling unable to support the Prime Minister’s motion declaring the mainly French-speaking province of Quebec, a nation within Canada.

‘It’s time to tell our stories’

Earning respect as a principled politician, Chong worked hard as a backbencher to gain more independence for MPs from their party leaders.

Last year his Reform Act passed, which now provides MPs the right to vote within their party caucuses, at the beginning of each new parliament on whether to give themselves the power to vote for their own caucus chair or, in extreme circumstances, to vote to remove their leaders.

But in annoncing his candidacy yesterday, it was his family story he stressed. The son of a Chinese immigrant father and a Dutch immigrant mother. He said his father watched Canadians soldiers defend Hong Kong in the Second World War, while his mother was liberated by Canadians in Holland.

His father arrived in Canada in 1952, just five years after the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act by the Parliament of Canada. Working at one point as a lumberjack, his father eventually put himself through medical school. 

“He worked hard and he persevered and he built for himself and his family a life of opportunity. And I’m the beneficiary of that,” Chong told reporters. “And so my family owes everything to this country. I literally would not be here today were it not for the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers in two theatres of war. I say that without any hint of hyperbole. It’s a fact.”

‘I think I represent a new Canada’

He supports a tax system that would be “flatter,” “simpler,” and “fairer” but not flat, and he would reduce the number of tax brackets and eliminate loopholes. He says the Conservative Party should change its official policy defining marriage as between a man and a woman only. And he thinks the party needs to attract “new people”.

In an interview with the CBC’s Aaron Wherry last week, Chong said, “I think I represent a new Canada, a rising new Canada,” he said,clarifying that in a few years more than half the country will be foreign born, or have at least one parent who was born overseas.

“The country is changing rapidly as a result of immigration and I think my family’s story represents that new Canada. And so that will be a big part of my campaign, because I think as Conservatives we need to tell that story, we need to tell those stories because it will attract new people to our party.”

Some of the major contenders for the leadership have yet to announce. Former cabinet ministers, Jason Kenney, Peter MacKay and Tony Clement are expected to enter the contest.

The Conservative Party will chose their new leader on May 27, 2017.

Share
Categories: Economy, Immigration & Refugees, Politics, Society
Tags:

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “Michael Chong enters Conservative leadership race
  1. Avatar Rene Albert says:

    I would support Michael Chong.

    He’s one of the very few Conservatives who had the courage to stand up to Harper. All the other candidates, declared or considering, just sat there like lumps and let Harper ruin the party…