Erin O’Toole’s succession: six contenders will fight

The formation finally unveiled its official list of aspiring leaders on Monday through the voice of Ian Brodie, chair of the election organizing committee.

In all, six candidates will be vying to succeed Erin O’Toole, Pierre Poilievre – considered the favorite – Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis, Patrick Bown, Scott Aitchison and Roman Baber.

From left to right, top to bottom: Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis, Jean Charest, Roman Baber, Patrick Brown and Scott Aitchison.

Photo: Radio-Canada

Five other contenders qualified for the first stage of the race on April 19, namely Leona Alleslev, Marc Dalton, Joseph Bourgault, Joel Etienne and Grant Abraham. However, they failed to get their applications certified.

In mid-March, Toronto businessman Bobby Singh also announced his intention to run for party leadership, but his name was not one of the candidates who took the first step – April 19 – which required including a $ 50,000 registration fee.

The other 11 candidates had until last Friday to meet a number of conditions. Among other things, they had to collect 500 signatures and $ 300,000, including $ 200,000 in registration fees and $ 100,000 in compliance deposit (refundable).

Discarded candidates demand explanations

Former MP Leona Alleslev, who has previously been deputy head of the PCC under Andrew Scheer, and Marc Dalton, who is currently representing the British-Colombian constituency of Pitt Meadows — Maple Ridge in the Commons, had announced in recent days that they had failed to get their party certified.

The two politicians had admitted to failing to raise the required $ 300,000 on April 29. This is not the case with three other contenders.

On Twitter, Saskatchewan businessman Joseph Bourgault and British-Colombian lawyer Grant Abraham said Monday that they had asked the party for an explanation because they felt they met all the conditions to take part in the race.

According to our information, the Toronto lawyer Joel Etienne also made a similar request, in private.

MP Leslyn Lewis, who is running for her second two-year leadership race, said on Monday that the party should let them compete.

« We want a fair run, she said, in English. I am not afraid of difficult struggles, and the Conservative Party should not rule out legitimate candidates. »

A quote from Leslyn Lewis, CCP leadership candidate

It is important to note that in the rules of the race for leadership that were unveiled in March, the Organizing Committee for the Election of the Leader (CEOC) reserved the right to exclude certain candidates, even if they managed to collect 500 signatures and $ 300,000 by April 29th.

According to these rules, the Nomination Committee for Candidates for Leadership (CICC) may rely on any other information it deems useful to verify a candidate’s suitability and recommend to CEOC that a particular candidate be banned from running.

It is also known that Joseph Bourgault and Grant Abraham – as well as Leslyn Lewis and Marc Dalton – received the support of the Campaign Life Coalitiona pro-life group that has long sought to take the right side of social issues.

An admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump, Mr. Bourgault also took part in the truckers’ rally on Parliament Hill last winter.

As for Grant Abraham, he had criticized Conservative MPs in particular after the unanimous passage of Bill C-4 banning conversion therapies in December.

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In a written statement to CBC on Monday afternoon, the director general of the PCCWayne Benson, however, assured that the final verification was based on the requirements set out in the rules, not on the political beliefs of a potential candidate.

Four debates this month

Candidate candidates whose candidacy has been certified will be required to participate in the official party debates, which will take place on May 11 in Edmonton (in English) and on May 25 in Montreal (in French). A third joust could also be added later.

In the meantime, a first, unofficial debate will take place on Thursday in the presence of all candidates, except Patrick Brown, who is running a camera-safe campaign with cultural communities. The debate is organized by the network Canada Strong & Free (the former Manning Center). It will be held in English in Ottawa.

A fourth debate, also in English, is being organized by theIndependent Press Gallery of Canada on May 30 in Toronto, but so far only Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis and Roman Baber have promised to attend.

Poilievre first in terms of funding

According to data available on the Elections Canada website, Pierre Poilievre received the most donations on March 31, $ 545,298, ahead of Jean Charest ($ 490,088) and Leslyn Lewis ($ 225). $ 571), Patrick Brown ($ 115,775), Scott Aitchison ($ 90,945) and Roman Baber ($ 53,987).

While many observers seem to believe that the member for Carleton could be easily elected on September 10, each candidate can affect the outcome of the race, as the rules of the race provide for a preferential method of voting, which often leads to on a multi-round election.

However, such a system tends to benefit “consensus” candidates. It also led to the defeat of the “leaders” in the last two races in the leadership of the PCCMaxime Bernier, in 2017, and Peter MacKay, in 2020.

With information from Christian Noël and John Paul Tasker (CBC)

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