Tory leadership hopeful Leitch wants pepper spray legal for self-defence

FILE PHOTO - Kellie Leitch answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 in Ottawa. As the Conservative leadership slate continues to expand, two of the most prominent contenders are jockeying for attention and support.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA - As the Conservative leadership slate continues to expand, two of the most prominent contenders are jockeying for attention and support.

Ontario MP Kellie Leitch, who has already urged screening immigrants for what she calls "anti-Canadian values," is now proposing changes to the law that would allow people to carry pepper spray for self-defence.

Quebec rival Maxime Bernier, meanwhile, is adding a high-powered endorsement to his list of supporters: former cabinet minister Tony Clement, who will also serve as a special adviser.

Clement says Bernier shares his values and is the right choice to lead the party and the country.

Leitch, whose edgy campaign has been trawling the party's right wing, says the law isn't clear on pepper spray: it's illegal to possess, but its use in self-defence doesn't necessarily lead to charges.

She says legalizing it for self-defence would strengthen the rights of women to protect themselves.

The field of candidates for the Conservative leadership vote, scheduled for May of next year, has swelled to 14.


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