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Tory Hopeful Promotes Jewish And Israel Issues In Thornhill Nomination Race

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Seeking to become the next Conservative MP for Thornhill, Melissa Lantsman asserts that the Trudeau Liberals have “lost all moral clarity” when it comes to the issue of support for Israel (Photo: Enterprise Canada)

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Melissa Lantsman, seeking the federal Conservative nomination in Thornhill, has extensive political experience provincially and federally. Her background includes working as Director of Communications for former Minister of Finance Joe Oliver in Stephen Harper’s government, as well as serving as chief spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s successful 2018 election campaign. She is Vice President, National Public Affairs at Enterprise Canada, a strategic communications firm.

In an interview with TheJ.ca, Lantsman says that while she does not currently live in Thornhill, she has spent the majority of her life in the riding. “I was born and raised there, and I do believe the MP should live in Thornhill. And when I am the MP I will live in Thornhill. I have spent the majority of my life living in Thornhill,” she says.

With respect to the logistics of campaigning during a pandemic, Lantsman explains that her campaign is doing a lot more reaching out by email, social media and phone.

“There aren’t the traditional big gatherings that you would see at the end of the year. There aren’t Hanukkah celebrations, there aren’t Christmas parties, there aren’t the community events that would bring people together in the same way, so this is far more direct contact than you would have traditionally in a campaign. But there is something nice about personally connecting with as many members and growing that membership in the riding,” she says.

On issues facing Thornhill voters, Lantsman says “I think there are major issues facing the country as a result of what we’ve just gone through over the 8 months, and frankly, what the Liberals have done over the last 5 years. So I think some of the issues are the fiscal challenges that we face going forward with a government that continues to spend and will campaign on those spending promises. We’ve got people being educated for a workforce that might not exist.”

Lantsman asserts that the Trudeau Liberals have “lost all moral clarity” when it comes to the issue of support for Israel. She stresses the importance of having Jewish MP’s in Ottawa. “I think our community is going to have to fight harder when there are fewer Jews in Parliament, fewer Jews in cabinet, and fewer Jews speaking up against an increasing tidal wave of antisemitism,” she says, noting  that security concerns for Jews abroad matter locally.

“Attacks can happen in Israel or even in downtown Paris. They matter, and they matter to how we set the rules here and they matter to how we fund basic security for our religious schools and our synagogues. And they matter because they’re an attack on freedom and religion and they’re an attack on all of us,” she says.

Honing in on her reasons why Conservative Party of Canada members in Thornhill should nominate her, Lantsman says “I think you need somebody who is going to go and stand up and fight and have the energy to do so. I think that I’m somebody who can grow our party both in Thornhill and across GTA. I think that I’m somebody who can get people who have left the Conservative party over the last 4 years to take a second look and to make sure that we defeat Justin Trudeau in the next election. I’ve fought for this my entire life, and I’m ready to put my name on the ballot to do it.”

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For the federal Conservatives to return to government, they will have to do better in the 905 region in the next federal campaign.  Asked her view, Lantsman says “I don’t think the Conservatives have a policy problem. I think that we’re exactly right. I think that we might have a messaging and a tone problem and having a bolder, fiercer voice on those issues who will stand up for the things that frankly a new generation of voters care about is how we grow our movement.”

In that vein, Lantsman believes that she can expand the Conservative Party’s appeal. “I can bring new people to the party and make those in our party who have been there through and through feel included and be the voice that fights for a new generation of Conservatives.”

Overall, Lantsman forecasts that antisemitism in Canada and anti-Israel policy making will be even more of an issue in the years and decades ahead. “I think that it’s a mistake for people in this riding to believe that the war has been won. And there are fewer people in Parliament who are going to deal with that. I’ve got the energy and drive to do that,” she adds.

(The fact that the Conservative Party is attracting such strong candidates in an important 905-area riding is a positive sign for the party moving forward to the next election. In next week’s edition TheJ.ca profiles an Ontario MPP seeking the nomination, Gila Martow.)

Jonathan Mackenzie is a lawyer in Toronto. He has a B.A. in Political Science (with Distinction) from York University and a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School. Jonathan previously served as a staff writer for Osgoode Hall’s Obiter Dicta Student Newspaper.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

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