Scott Aitchison: Quick facts about the Conservative candidate

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Scott Aitchison, the former mayor of Hunstville, Ont., is running for federal Conservative party leader. The Muskoka region native has spent the majority of his career in municipal politics, and has preached about the importance of consensus among members of the Conservative party throughout the fractious leadership race.

Born: Jan. 14, 1973

Early years: Aitchison grew up in the Muskoka region of Ontario with his family, who were practising Jehovah’s Witnesses. He left the faith at 15 and moved in with a friend’s family, and has suggested that in many ways, he was raised by the town of Huntsville.

Before politics: He worked as a sales manager for Fowler Construction and as a real-estate agent before entering politics full time.

Political record: At just 21 years old, Aitchison was the youngest-ever candidate elected to the Huntsville town council. He developed a reputation for consensus building over his years as a municipal representative, and served two terms as the mayor of Huntsville, beginning in 2014. He was elected to Parliament in 2019 to represent the riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka. He collaborated on a bipartisan effort to extend bereavement leave to grieving parents.

Family: Aitchison remains close with his parents and the family that took him in as a young teen.

Quote: "I am now a leader in the party. I'm a leader in the country now, and I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing. I think that it's a style and a tone and a message that resonates well with all Canadians. Not just Conservatives, not just Liberals, but all Canadians."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press