Canada might be getting its own Donald Trump: 'Shark Tank' villain Kevin O'Leary

Source: John Shearer/AP

Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary wants to make Canada an offer it can't refuse: himself, as leader of the country's Conservative Party.

O'Leary announced his candidacy on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday, thanking the "40,000" Canadians he claims encouraged him to run.

"What an opportunity we have in this country. Limitless bounty," he said. "Such opportunity to turn it around. I'm so excited. It's time." 

"The potential of this country is absolutely immense. It's just really mismanaged," he added.

Eagle-eyed observers might immediately spot some similarities between O'Leary and one President-elect Donald Trump of the United States: Both are shrewd, conservative businessmen-turned-reality-stars who announced their candidacies amid already crowded conservative fields. Trump's GOP opponents numbered at least a dozen when he entered the presidential race in 2015; O'Leary will join 13 other candidates in the running for the Conservative Party's leadership.

But beyond the superficial similarities, O'Leary is also making early waves as a divisive candidate. 

According to the the Toronto Sun, one of his opponents, Lisa Raitt, began pre-emtively protesting his candidacy before it was even announced, citing O'Leary's “negative, irresponsible” campaign strategies as the reason for her consternation.

But conservative strategist Chad Rogers told CBC News that voters shouldn't underestimate O'Leary's ability to wield his name recognition as a tool to bolster the credibility of his candidacy.

"We look south of the border at Mr. Trump, we look here in Canada at Justin Trudeau, on the front end of their campaigns people didn't take it seriously and they underestimated the value of starting the race with dramatically higher name recognition with average Canadians than other politicians," he said.

Bad news for any U.S. residents who were looking to move to Canada after the 2016 presidential election — looks like it's Mars 2020 or bust.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Brianna Provenzano

Brianna is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. Send tips/inquiries to brianna@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.