Lewis seeks Conservative nod for Haldimand-Norfolk riding

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Rising Conservative Party of Canada star Leslyn Lewis will seek the Conservative nomination in Haldimand-Norfolk for the next federal election.

The Toronto lawyer recently ran for the party’s leadership, losing to Erin O’Toole.

Lewis said she feels a connection with people in rural communities.

“And I believe that I have a lot to add to the discourse on the fair treatment of rural ridings,” Lewis said in a phone interview.

“I knew that I was going to choose a rural riding because of the impact that I want to make, the voice that I want to add to Ottawa. I know that there are many MPs from rural ridings that are doing a great job, but I think that I can add to that.”

Lewis said she believes farmers are the “bedrock” of society, which is part of why she wants to represent Haldimand-Norfolk.

“I want people to acknowledge that without these farmers we would go hungry and that they are a very important part of the global supply chain,” she said. “I see that they have been undervalued.”


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Lewis said she also believes in dealing with First Nations communities with respect.

“I would like to, at some point, reach a resolution with all First Nations communities about how we’re going to move forward as one united nation,” she said.

The Conservative party has held the seat since 2004 when Diane Finley won the riding. Finley announced in August she won’t be seeking re-election.

Finley put out a statement supporting Lewis’ nomination bid.

“Leslyn has shown time and again that she is hard working and passionate, just like the people here in Haldimand-Norfolk,” said Finley. “Not only has she proven with each conversation that she is knowledgeable about the issues that matter most to our community, but the way that she connects with people makes me confident that she would represent us incredibly well.”

Lewis said she welcomes having Finley as a mentor in the riding.

During the Conservative leadership race, Lewis received over 50 per cent of the votes in the Haldimand-Norfolk area.

“I received more votes than the other three candidates combined so I realized that the residents in (Haldimand-Norfolk) actually subscribe to similar values that I put forward in my campaign,” she said.

Lewis emigrated to Canada from Jamaica when she was five.

As a lawyer, Lewis specialized in commercial law and helping companies sell green technology abroad. She has four university degrees, including a master of environmental studies from York University and a PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School.


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“I believe in hard work, and I will work very hard to make sure I serve the residents of this riding,” said Lewis. “I am a small business owner, so I understand what the challenges small businesses have, farmers have, the challenges people living in rural communities have.”

Lewis has never held elected office, but she’s run in a federal campaign once before. She lost in the 2015 election after stepping in mid-campaign for Conservative candidate Jerry Bance, who was infamously caught urinating in a mug on an investigative TV show and had to drop out.

A date for a nomination meeting has yet to be set.

– With files from Brian Platt