Bell Media Distances Itself as O’Leary Deliberates Conservative Leadership Race

Businessman Kevin O'Leary hasn't decided whether he'll enter the Conservative leadership race, but that isn't stopping those already in the race from going after him. O'Leary speaks during a session entitled "If I run here's how i'd do it" during a conservative conference, in Ottawa in a February 26, 2016, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

A surprise announcement by Bell Media on Friday confirmed that it is parting ways with the potential Conservative leadership candidate, Kevin O’Leary, as he will no longer appear on the company’s financial television network BNN or CTV News. Mr.  O’Leary joined the media conglomerate after switching from the CBC two years ago and worked in the capacity of commentator on economic and political matters across its platforms.

The businessman and reality TV star, O’Leary, had already disclosed that he is considering the prospect of running for the Conservative party’s top job. However, it would have created a potential conflict of interest for Bell Media news properties covering the leadership race. Bell Media’s announcement came after O’Leary unveiled an “exploratory committee” and launched a campaign website on Friday morning. O’Leary has already gained support of former Stephen Harper cabinet minister, Marjory LeBreton, and former premier of Ontario, Mike Harris. O’Leary’s website displays a sign up section where Conservative Party members or members of the public can submit their personal details to the committee, which is indicative that O’Leary’s team is already looking to build a supporter database for a campaign.

The statement issued by Bell Media spokesperson on Friday mentioned that “as a result of today’s announcements Mr. O’Leary will no longer be a contributor to BNN or CTV News,” adding that “he could continue to appear as a guest, but not as a contributor in any official capacity.”

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