Conservatives Scrap Plans To Pick New Leader In June Amid Pandemic

The Conservative party logo is seen here in Halifax during a national convention in August 2018. The party made the decision to suspend its leadership race after the final deadline for candidates to qualify.

OTTAWA — The Conservative party is suspending its leadership race in the face of the ongoing crisis caused by COVID-19.

The June 27 election date has been shelved, with the leadership organizing committee citing the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The committee, known as LEOC, made the decision during a lengthy meeting Thursday night that came after days of pressure for them to act.

“With all non-essential businesses now closed in Ontario and Quebec including our HQ, LEOC now finds that it is no longer possible to meet the deadlines necessary to process memberships and donations, or print, process and count ballots in time for a June 27 announcement,” the party said in a statement on Twitter.

No new date was selected. The party said they will re-evaluate the situation on May 1.

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In the meantime, debates scheduled for April have been cancelled, and the April 17 deadline to sign-up new members has been pushed back to May 15.

The statement did not address whether candidates will still be allowed to officially campaign or hold events between now and the May 1 decision date.

The decision comes one day after the final deadline for candidates to qualify. They had to raise $300,000, submit 3,000 signatures, as well as a lengthy application.

Four candidates had met that threshold and are on the ballot: Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis, former cabinet minister Peter MacKay, former cabinet minister and current MP Erin O’Toole, and current MP Derek Sloan.

But three others failed to qualify, all citing in recent weeks major challenges fundraising and getting supporters when traditional meet-and-greets were rendered …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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