“Onward!”

OTTAWA — Conservative candidate Kellie Leitch says her campaign will continue going in the “same direction” after the departure of controversial campaign manager Nick Kouvalis.

Kouvalis offered his resignation Thursday, saying in a public statement that evening he had become a distraction to the campaign. Leitch said in an interview Saturday she hadn’t seen it coming.

“I told him from day one if he needed a break that his health and his family came first. And I know how hard he was working, he put a huge amount of time and effort into my campaign so when he called me and said he had to step aside because it was just too stressful, you know obviously I respect that decision,” she said.

“I hope he receives the help that he needs and I’ll continue with a great strong team that I have.”

Amid speculation over Kouvalis’s next move, Leitch said she believes he wouldn’t move over to another candidate’s team. “I know he won’t,” she said. “Not that he made a promise to me. Just, he’s a loyal person.”

Leitch said her campaign still has 1,500 volunteers and “we’re going to continue going in the same direction we have been up until now,” which she described as a campaign focused on talking to average people about their concerns.

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