Home Moral guidelines Leslyn Lewis, the last hope at the leadership of the federal Conservatives, to hit NB.

Leslyn Lewis, the last hope at the leadership of the federal Conservatives, to hit NB.

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Federal Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis didn’t let her objections to federal vaccine mandates stop her campaigning in New Brunswick this week.

Ontario’s first-term MP is the latest potential leader to seek support in the province, arriving just a day after a visit from former Quebec premier Jean Charest.

Lewis opposes the federal requirement for proof of vaccination to fly on a commercial airline in Canada.

She declined to divulge her own vaccination status, but suggested to CBC News on Friday that she may have flown to Quebec this week to campaign before continuing by car to New Brunswick.

“I didn’t get on the plane illegally,” she laughed. “I can tell you. I didn’t break in illegally. I’m a law-abiding person.”

Last week, Lewis declined to say in a broadcast interview whether she had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I believe people are doing what is necessary to keep themselves and their families safe,” she said in an interview Friday during her stop in New Brunswick.

“My objection to not disclosing vaccination status is because I think we are normalizing interference in people’s lives.”

Although she hinted that she met the proof of vaccination requirement to fly this week, she argued the rule is not based on science and is unfair to six million unvaccinated Canadians.

“These people are part of society and in other ways move in close proximity to other Canadians.”

Leslyn Lewis chats with Woodstock resident Suzanne Matheson, right. Matheson said she appreciates “that Leslyn stands up for her morals and ethics, regardless of the backlash people often receive for it.” (Jacques Poitras/CBC News)

Campaigning in Sussex, Saint John on Saturday

Lewis greeted a large crowd of Tory MPs on Thursday evening in Fredericton and stopped Friday afternoon at a grocery store in Hartland, part of the Tobique-Mactaquac riding of Tory MP Richard Bragdon, who is a Lewis supporter .

She is campaigning in Sussex and Saint John on Saturday.

Lewis said while she opposes federal mandates, she abides by all vaccination and public health rules that provincial leaders, including Premier Blaine Higgs, have put in place.

“I am confident that the provinces have their scientific support for the mandates they have imposed,” she said.

Lewis was to meet Higgs during his campaign swing.

The prime minister, who has not endorsed any candidate for the leadership of the federal government, also met with Charest last weekend and candidate Pierre Poilievre in March.

Lewis finished third in the Tory’s last leadership race. She received the most votes among Tobique-Mactaquac voters in the first round of the leadership vote.

This week Lewis, who is often described as a social conservative, released a four-point plan to limit certain types of abortions, identical to her promise in the last leadership race.

Woodstock resident Murray Whitehouse, right, said he supported Lewis’ tough stance on the issues. “What she says today that she stands for is how she will be tomorrow. It’s not going to fluctuate. » (Radio-Canada News)

Support for the firm positions of Lewis

Many supporters who showed up to meet her in Hartland said they supported her because of her positions.

“She doesn’t back down from where she stands,” said Murray Whitehouse of Woodstock, citing her opposition to abortion and her support for the Freedom Convoy.

“What she says today she stands for is how she will be tomorrow. It’s not going to fluctuate.”

Another Woodstock resident, Suzanne Matheson, said she appreciated “Leslyn standing up for her morals and ethics, regardless of the backlash people often get for it. I love that you know exactly what she thinks.”

Time to leave divisive labels behind: Lewis

Lewis dismissed a question about the place of his social conservatism in the conservative debate over centrism versus populism.

“I’m a conservative who believes in the unity of our party and the unity of our country, and I think it’s time we left behind a lot of labels that divide us,” she said. declared.

“I’m a bridge builder. I believe in finding common ground between people who may have differing points of view.”

Lewis also said she would give provinces more leeway to spend federal health transfers as they wish, rather than imposing strict requirements.

Any national guideline should be “flexible enough to meet the geographic and demographic needs of the provinces, and hopefully the provinces would be able to do that without being micromanaged. I don’t believe in granting transfers and then dictating a federal outcome.

She also said she would be open to a formula that gives provinces with older populations, such as New Brunswick, more funding to cover the additional cost of senior care.

The impact of COVID-19 on older Canadians shows the importance of targeting this demographic, she said.

“Regions that have these growing segments should be able to have the resources allocated to deal with them and should not have to dip into other health care services and needs.”