Kevin O’Leary bails on Conservative leadership debate, citing format

O'Leary backs out of Tory leadership debate

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary says he won’t take part in Tuesday’s official party debate in Edmonton, citing the format.

But the news is being greeted with cries of foul from rival candidates who dismiss O’Leary’s claim that one among them refused to agree to change the format.

O’Leary says he believes the party’s preferred format of having all 14 candidates on stage answering the same questions allows no time for ideas to be explained.

He says he worked with other candidates in hopes they would agree to adopt the same small group format used at this past weekend’s Manning Centre conference, but one campaign refused to make the switch.

Some of his opponents, however, say they were never formally approached by the party about making a change.

Lisa Raitt, who has been directly attacking O’Leary’s candidacy for weeks, is calling him “chicken” for refusing to show up at the bilingual event.

Conservative party officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

O’Leary says that instead of the debate, he’ll be holding an event where he can speak directly to party members.

“I hope the party recognizes the mistake they have made in this decision and encourage them to reconsider this going forward,” he said in a statement.

After Tuesday’s debate, the party has one more formal event scheduled before members vote to select a new leader on May 27.


The Canadian Press

Just Posted

RCMP hunt for suspect in West Kelowna bank robbery

Suspect used a note and fled bank Saturday with an undisclosed amount of cash

Community Leader Awards: Shelley Pacholok

The Kelowna Capital News honours those who give back in the community

International Arts Festival returns to Kelowna

Living Things is a month-long festival with live performances by artists from around the world

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Kelowna Art Gallery members’ exhibition offers variety of media

Encounters will be held from Dec. 2 to Feb. 3

Vehicle with dog inside stolen from Oliver gas station

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

PIGS bring Pink Floyd sound to Kelowna

Victoria band pays tribute to iconic British band on Feb. 10 at Mary Irwin Theatre

Letter: Another flagger dies; when will you slow down?

You have all seen our signs, trucks and my favorite our cones. Why don’t you slow down?

Kelowna-developed technology to be unveiled at Summerhill

Kelowna winery and tech company introduces new technology for phone or tablet

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

Most Read