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JOHNSON: Who is ready for the responsibility of prime minister?

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Patrick Brown’s departure from the federal Conservative leadership race changed the dynamic overnight, especially here in the GTA.

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Tens of thousands of members who signed up for Brown are now looking for their conservative champion. The two top contenders are Poilievre and Charest.

Canadians are waiting for us to deliver them from the Liberals. We need to set the record straight.

That’s why I ran as a Conservative candidate in Scarborough-Agincourt in last year’s federal election. So let me speak to my fellow Tories who will be voting for the next leader.

It all boils down to simple math: The Conservative Party will never win government unless we win the GTA and other big cities.

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For decades the Liberals have crushed us in the GTA. But Doug Ford just proved that the GTA is not a liberal stronghold – when conservatives pick a winning tone and leader.

The Conservative Party is doomed to lose the election unless we have an experienced leader who can excite GTA voters to vote Conservative again. An Angus Reid poll this week confirms Mr. Charest’s favorability in vote-rich Ontario far outstrips his primary rival.

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The question we Tories always ask ourselves is this: Who can win? But that’s the wrong question. Instead, the question should be: Who will make the best prime minister? Voters want a Conservative leader who is Prime Minister material who can steer the ship of state without crashing it on the rocks.

It’s a job that requires you to show up and be accountable to Canadians. That means participating in debates, showing up in the House of Commons and answering questions, whether from the media, Canadian voters, Members of Parliament or your committee colleagues. When you’re a leader, you can’t hide from that responsibility.

We have to ask ourselves: who can make the best decisions about units in battle? Represent Canada at world summits and meet world leaders? Making tough, principled decisions in difficult circumstances when all options look bad?

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Being Prime Minister is not an entry level position. It requires skills far beyond being a gifted social media communicator. For the past seven years, we have seen what happens when we elect unproven politicians who care more about their personal brand than governing.

We need an experienced leader who is confident, can unite people across our party and appeal to many non-conservatives who are fed up with left-wing extremism.

We need to offer voters a sensible alternative that goes beyond the Social and Progressive Conservatives, is as diverse and open as Canada, and appeals to those who have longed to vote Conservative again.

GTA voters are rightly angry at Trudeau’s incompetence and will be happy to vote for a moderate Conservative Party led by a wise and experienced leader. They will not vote for a Tory leader they perceive as extreme, angry or antagonistic.

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Jean Charest is the clear choice for conservatives who want to form a government and have the responsibility that comes with it. He understands that being the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and one day prime minister is a privilege.

Charest is a unifier, not a divider, who can unite the conservative party around shared values ​​and purpose. It can attract a team of strong and diverse candidates to represent all GTA communities.

The Conservatives need to elect a real leader who is ready to be prime minister. My vote is for Jean Charest.

Mark Johnson was the Conservative candidate in Scarborough-Agincourt during the 2021 election.

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