Kevin O'Leary leaves a television studio following an interview in Toronto on Jan. 18, 2017. (Photo: Chris Young/CP)Case in point: on Tuesday, O'Leary met Conservative MPs, and later glad-handed with party members whose support he needs to become leader; this morning, he was planning to be on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for the opening bell. He said he would be talking up the Canadian economy and trade in a way the current Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has failed to do in the weeks since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected. "This is an opportunity for me to do something I don't believe any Canadians had an opportunity to do," O'Leary said. "I've built a trust over a decade with them on television, and to be able to explain our relationship in a unique way, in a way that they will trust. Trudeau? I'm better known in the U.S. than he is."
"I've built a trust over a decade with them on television, and to be able to explain our relationship in a unique way, in a way that they will trust. Trudeau? I'm better known in the U.S. than he is."
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How he might lead CanadaHe's already providing hints of what life might look like under an O'Leary majority government. A series of angry letters he's been trading with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who he blames for destroying the Ontario economy, is partially about setting a tone, he suggested. Any province that gets in the way of his plan to get the country to 3 per cent growth in GDP will feel the heat, he said. "Call me when you fix it or suffer the consequences of a prime minister with a big stick," O'Leary said. "There's many many tools you have as a prime minister — you start at transfer payments all the way down." Since announcing he was joining the race in late January, O'Leary said his campaign has signed up 9,000 members and raised $300,000, an effort he said that dwarfs that of any of the 13 other candidates in the race. Fundraising numbers released Tuesday show Maxime Bernier raised $586,000 during the final three months of 2016, with Kellie Leitch, the next closest candidate, came in at more than $355,000.