January 18, 2017 / 1:57 PM / a year ago

Canadian businessman O'Leary to enter Conservative race

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Canadian businessman and TV personality Kevin O‘Leary said on Wednesday he would enter the race to run the opposition Conservative party, joining a crowded field of candidates.

Montreal-born O‘Leary is known for his appearances on reality shows “Shark Tank” and “Dragons’ Den”, where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas.

“It’s official, I‘m in. The Conservative Party of Canada needs a candidate who can beat Justin Trudeau and bring back jobs to this country!” O‘Leary tweeted.

He is also known for unconventional ideas, including a proposal to let people buy seats in the unelected upper house of parliament.

O‘Leary said earlier this month that he would skip a French language leadership debate until he was more “proficient” in the language and that he was committed to learning French again, seen as a crucial requirement to become prime minister.

After nearly a decade in power, the leadership of the Conservative party opened up when Prime Minister Stephen Harper stepped down after his party’s defeat by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in 2015.

Since then, a number of politicians have announced their candidacies. (Reporting by Sai Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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