Federal Conservatives to pick new leader in September

The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has announced that it will select its new leader on Sept. 10. 

The party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) announced it adopted the rules and procedures for the race on Wednesday and that they will be made public later this week. 

“As a party with a long grassroots tradition, these dates will allow as many Canadians as possible to join the Conservative Party and participate in the election of our next leader,” said LEOC chair Ian Brodie in a statement on Thursday. “It will also allow Conservative Members of Parliament to return to the House of Commons in September with a new leader in place to take on Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.” 

The statement said that prospective candidates would have until April 19 to apply to enter the leadership race. Prospective candidates would need to provide a total entry fee of $200,000 as well as a compliance deposit of $100,000 that is refundable after the race concludes.  

According to the statement, the deadline for membership applications to be submitted is June 3. Party staff, it said, would be given multiple weeks to verify members’ eligibility, which will be followed by a period for leadership campaigns to look over the final voter list for accuracy. 

Ballots are expected to be mailed to party members in late July to early August. 

“We are confident that by following the rules and procedures adopted by LEOC, which comply with the party’s constitution, Canada’s Conservatives can hold a leadership election that is open, fair, transparent, democratic and professional,” said Brodie. 

The only declared candidate in the race at the moment is CPC MP Pierre Poilievre. 

Poilievre announced on Feb. 5 that he intends to become party leader and eventually Canada’s prime minister. 

“I’m running for prime minister to give you back control of your life,” he said. 

Former Liberal Quebec premier Jean Charest has also expressed interest, saying he would review the rules before deciding whether to run. 

Charest met Wednesday with Conservative MPs and senators at a hotel in downtown Ottawa at a reception planned by two people who wanted him to run. 

“The rules will tell us where a campaign is viable or not,” Charest said.

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