Leitch: I do have 22 letters at the end of my name, I’m not an idiot
Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is on a crusade against the elites. But it’s not going well for her, and all those letters after her name are partly to blame.
The Prince Arthur Herald has obtained an audio clip of Leitch berating a Conservative Party supporter and using her titles to show her intelligence. Partway into a discussion at an event with young Conservative Party members in Montreal on Thursday evening, Leitch responds to criticism by proclaiming:
“Please understand that I do have 22 letters at the end of my name, I’m not an idiot.”
Her parliamentary profile reads her official title as The Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.D., M.B.A., F.R.C.S.(C)
There are actually 16 letters after her name. Including “the Hon. Dr.” before her name brings the total to 24.
Leitch was being questioned about her plans to abolish the Indian Act without consulting aboriginal groups by a man who does not have 22 letters after his name.
“I have thought through all of the details with respect to what we should do in order to make sure people feel full at the end of the process,” Leitch continues. “But the short of it, the first step, we have to eliminate the Indian Act.”
By all accounts, Leitch is a very accomplished woman. She earned her MD at U of T, received an MBA from Dalhousie, has taught at the University of Western Ontario, worked in several distinguished medical organizations, and she’s a former Minister of the Crown and current Member of Parliament.
Those jobs come with important titles. And Dr. Leitch loves her titles.
As already reported by Maclean’s, Leitch went into a fit of rage when “Doctor” was excluded from her Party business cards during the 2015 general election. “This is unacceptable. Even the prime minister [Stephen Harper] introduced me as Dr. Kellie Leitch this morning. I’ve earned all these titles. Do you have these titles after your name? No.”
Listen to the exclusive audio yourself:
UPDATE 1: Kellie Leitch has responded to our story
I apologize for the error, I have 18 letters after my name, not 22. Each is an achievement I worked hard for. -kkl https://t.co/q6I6naKWTW
— Kellie Leitch (@KellieLeitch) January 13, 2017
UPDATE 2: Context
The Prince Arthur Herald has received questions about the context of the quote. Allow us to further elaborate.
During a discussion with members of Conservative McGill and Conservative Concordia, someone changed the conversation from Donald Trump’s presidency to another topic. “What’s your overall policy on Aboriginal affairs? Would you do anything to reform it?”
Leitch responded by saying: “I would abolish the Indian Act”, adding that “every Canadian should be treated the same.” The questioner pushed harder, saying “but they would no longer be legally defined as Aboriginal” to which she reinforced her view and added “and guess what: the majority of Aboriginal Canadians agree with me. If you want to listen to the chiefs, you go ahead buddy; if you want to listen to those 600 elites, you go for it guy.” For the next thirty seconds, there was a discussion about the living conditions on reserves.
The comment that prompted Leitch’s response in the clip above was: “your intentions are good and I understand it, obviously you want everybody to be equal, I understand that too. It’s just the fact that you take away the legal status from them — you have to look at the history of enfranchisement, you have to look at the history of the blood quantum for actual Aboriginal peoples themselves. They would have no legal status anymore. The reserves would have no legal status anymore.”
Leitch responded by saying she could discuss the topic for 45 minutes and go through all the details, but then said that she has 22 letters at the end of her name and that the Indian Act should be abolished.
Following that comment, the man asked: “so you think you’ve done enough consultations with Aboriginals to be able to make a law without consultation?”
The response was: “I think that the people of Canada, and the Parliament of Canada, is supreme. And when people decide, that’s what we should do. And every Canadian should be equal. And if you think I need to go out and speak to Aboriginal Canadians across the country to ask them for their consent to change the law, it won’t happen. And you know that.”