Kevin O'Leary speaks at a luncheon at the London Convention Centre, March 7, 2017. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

O’Leary Has Harsh Words For Trudeau

With a claim that Justin Trudeau has no idea what he’s doing as prime minister, one of the men vying for the Conservative leadership outlined to London’s business community why he should be the one at the helm of the country.

Kevin O’Leary delivered the frank address to a crowd of roughly 400 people at the London Convention Centre over the lunch hour Tuesday.

The reality-TV star and Montreal-born businessman promised he’d make Trudeau’s life a “living hell” over the next two years and repeatedly said the 2019 federal vote would not be an election but an exorcism.

“People are tired of being spun and lied to by politicians and they’re looking for better operational and executional excellence in leadership. We are missing that in Canada. We have a tremendous amount of mediocrity and incompetence at the municipal, provincial, and federal level. The wave I am riding is people demanding better execution,” said O’Leary.

A graduate of Western University‚Äôs Richard Ivey School of Business, O’Leary spoke to the crowd about his plan to win over university and college students.

“They’re pissed,” said O’Leary. “They got sold a bill of goods by Trudeau. They’re not getting any jobs, they’re living in their parents basements, they’re really unhappy. I’m going to show them why there is a better way and how to get there.”

O’Leary spoke about the negative effect the carbon tax is having on Alberta, which he called “the gem of Canada’s economic growth.” He also said he would close immigration loopholes that are allowing people to illegally cross into Canada.

On the topic of keeping young entrepreneurs in the country, he noted a need to change “tonality” in all levels of government. He had harsh words for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, stating that if she worked for his company he would have fired her by now. The comment was met with applause from the business crowd.

As prime minister, O’Leary was clear his focus would be on growing the economy by 3%.

“That’s a significant challenge, that’s what I’m focused on and I want Canadians from every party to consider when they vote because we’re not going to have an election in 2019, we’re having an exorcism,” said O’Leary. “I’ve got to get rid of Trudeau, he doesn’t know how to grow the economy, he’s plunging it into deficit.”

O’Leary wrapped up his remarks by advising the crowd to keep a close watch as his plan unfolds.

“Stand back and watch, this is going to be really interesting,” said O’Leary.

When asked about comparisons between him and U.S. President Donald Trump, O’Leary was quick to distance himself.

“We both got some notoriety on business reality television, I on Shark Tank and he on the Apprentice, but that is where the similarities end,” said O’Leary. “I’m born from Lebanese and Irish immigrants. If there was a wall around Canada I wouldn’t exist.”

Following the luncheon, which was hosted by the London Chamber of Commerce, O’Leary visited his old stomping grounds at Western University to speak to students.

This was O’Leary’s first visit to the city since jumping into the Conservative leadership race in January.