Ontario Conservative MP Michael Chong has joined the race to replace former party leader Stephen Harper.
Chong, 44, made the official announcement in Ottawa, with his wife, Carrie, and his three young boys, William, Alistair, and Cameron, at his side.
Chong said he views himself as someone who can expand and modernize the party, while doing a better job of telling Canadians how the Conservative party is the best vehicle for their hopes and aspirations.
Chong was first elected as the MP for the Ontario riding of Wellington–Halton Hills in 2004. After the Conservatives won in 2006, Chong was appointed minister of intergovernmental affairs.
Unable to support a Bloc Québécois motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada, Chong broke ranks with the government and resigned from cabinet that November.
Chong spearheaded the Reform Act, legislation designed to give MPs the ability to dump their party leader and loosen that person’s control over their caucus.
A watered-down version of his bill became law in 2015, but none of the party caucuses has decided to apply all the new powers the act allows. The Liberals decided to kick the matter over to party members for discussion at their upcoming end of May convention in Winnipeg at the end of May.