Leslyn Lewis: A look at the Conservative candidate's key promises

·3 min read

OTTAWA — Leslyn Lewis burst onto the political scene during the 2020 Conservative Party leadership race and became a star in the socially conservative movement for her restrictive views on abortion. Now a sitting MP for Haldimand—Norfolk in Ontario, Lewis's second leadership campaign is built on the idea of personal and national sovereignty.

Here is a look at her key policy promises:

— On personal choice in health care: Lewis is vigorously opposed to vaccine mandates and other mandatory public health measures and said she would put forward legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against people based on their vaccination status.

— On abortion: Lewis first made a name for herself in politics as the anti-abortion candidate by taking a stance against sex-selective and coerced abortion. She believes candidates should be forthright about their policy stance on abortion.

— On firearms: Lewis says she will focus resources on keeping illegal firearms out of Canada rather than imposing more restrictions on legal gun owners. She’s also pledged to bring in a simplified firearms classification system determined by gun experts, police, farmers and sport shooters.

— On Housing: To combat the rising cost of home ownership, Lewis says she would offer Crown lands to developers free of charge to allow them to build homes and commercial spaces on large swaths of land outside of major cities. Her platform also includes incentives to municipalities who reduce zoning rules to allow for more development.

— On energy costs: Lewis says she would abolish the carbon tax because of the expense to Canadians at the pumps. She would also establish a strategic oil reserve to guard against global market shocks and other disruptions to Canada’s oil supply.

— On funding for the media: Lewis says if she were to lead a governing party she would defund the CBC, which she says “force feeds” taxpayers “woke, Liberal party talking points.” She said she would also end tax credits for media companies and put an end to the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization, which determines the eligibility for those tax credits.

— On the environment: Lewis says she's passionate about protecting the environment, but says the Liberal's net-zero emissions approach is unfair and not applied evenly among industries. She said she would institute a clear definition of net-zero and develop specific metrics to measure progress, and bring stakeholders like farmers to the table.

— On the World Economic Forum: Lewis says she gets asked at every event about the WEF, a non-governmental lobbying organization best known for an annual glitzy meeting of politicians and the ultrarich in Switzerland. She says the organization is engaged in a global takeover of governments like Canada's, and she would end Canada’s participation on World Economic Forum programs like the Known Traveller Digital Identity program.

— On medical assistance in dying: Lewis says the legislation legalizing doctor-assisted deaths in Canada lacks important safeguards, like making a reasonably foreseeable death a requirement. That qualification was part of the original law but was struck down by a Quebec court in 2019. Lewis said she would restore those safeguards, expand mental health services, and double the number of weeks for caregiver benefits.

— On the North: Lewis says she plans to allow northern communities to keep more revenue from the development of their natural resources and build more critical infrastructure like roads and airports. She would also invest in modern equipment for the Canadian Rangers, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard to defend the Northern coastline.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press