Dr. Kellie Leitch was first elected as the MP for Simcoe Grey in 2011. A licensed pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Leitch was named the Official Opposition Critic for Health, but resigned this role to run for leader of the Conservative Party in 2017. Her campaign was considered somewhat divisive both inside and outside of the party, as she called for a “values test” of all potential immigrants to Canada, which many saw as xenophobic. Dr. Leitch placed sixth in the leadership election.
Under Prime Minister Harper, Leitch was the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women. Prior to that she had been the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
Leitch earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto. She completed her residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Toronto and subsequently became a fellow of clinical paediatric orthopedics at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles/University of South California. She also has an MBA from Dalhousie University. She completed her undergrad at Queen’s University.
Leitch is an associate professor at the University of Toronto. Leitch has also taught at the University of Western Ontario where she served as assistant dean of external affairs for the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is the founder of the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership at Western and led the health sector stream in the university’s MBA program.
In 2009 Leitch founded the Kids Health Foundation. The foundation works with academics, the not-for-profit sector, government and industry to make Canada a healthy place for children to grow up. In 2010 her work as an advocate for children and youth was recognized when Leitch received the Order of Ontario.
Letich is an active volunteer. She has been a council member with the National Research Council of Canada, a board member for Genome Canada and a director with the YMCA (GTA) board. She also served as vice-president of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS research. She also hosts an annual golf tournament as a fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Leitch is also active in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. She worked with Christine Elliott’s 2009 leadership campaign. She got her start in federal politics when she chaired an expert panel for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit in 2006 and presented a report to federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty.