CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

On May 27. 2017, the Conservative Party of Canada will be electing a new leader.

Why should you care?

This leadership race will ultimately determine who will lead the Conservative Party of Canada (Conservative Party) in the next federal election in 2019.

How to vote?

In order to vote for the next leader of the Conservative Party, you must hold active membership to the Conservative Party before March 28, 2017. Here is a link to register. A nominal membership fee of $15 is required.

The Details

We have prepared a quick reference guide outlining each candidate’s platform and background. A small caveat: we are still very early in the race and each candidate has yet to unveil a complete policy platform. Here is what we know so far:

Chris Alexander

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Former Conservative MP for Ajax—Pickering (Ontario)

  • Former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (2013–2015)
  • 18 years in the Canadian foreign service, including stints in Moscow and as Canada’s first resident ambassador to Afghanistan
  • Immigration: Plans to increase the intake of immigrants to 400,000 every year, including 40,000 refugees
  • National Security: In 2015, he announced that a re-elected Conservative government would establish an RCMP tip line so citizens could report incidents of "barbaric cultural practices"

Maxime Bernier

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Conservative MP for Beauce (Québec)

  • Former Minister of Small Business and Tourism (2011–2015); Minister of Foreign Affairs (2007-2008)
  • Business: Lower the corporate tax rate from 15% to 10% and abolish the capital gains tax
  • Personal tax: Reduce the number of tax brackets from five to two
  • Bill C-51: Voted in favour of the bill

Steven Blaney

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Former Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (2013–2015)

  • Bill C-51: As Minister of Public Safety, he introduced Bill C-51
  • Niqab: Should he become prime minister, he will re-introduce legislation forcing voters, new citizens taking the citizenship oath, and federal public servants to uncover their faces
  • National Security: Boost funding to security agencies like CSIS, the RCMP, and Canada Border Services Agency to expand screening for potential national security threats

Michael Chong

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Conservative MP for Wellington—Halton Hills (Ontario)

  • Personal tax: Reduce the number of tax brackets from five to two
  • Corporate tax: An absolute reduction in corporate income taxes of 5%
  • Tax overhaul: Proposes an overhaul of the tax system based on new revenues from taxing carbon and lowering personal taxes
  • Niqab: Disagreed with previous Government’s position on banning face coverings at citizenship ceremonies

Kellie Leitch

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Conservative MP for Simcoe—Grey (Ontario)

  • Former Minister of Labour and Status of Women (2013–2015)
  • Hailed Trump’s presidential victory as an “exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well”
  • Immigration: Proposing to devise a "Canadian values" test for immigrants
  • National Security: In 2015, announced that a re-elected Conservative government would establish an RCMP tip line so citizens could report incidents of "barbaric cultural practices"

Rick Peterson

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A Vancouver based businessman, President of Peterson Capital

  • 28 years of experience as an investment advisor, investment banker and public company officer & director
  • Rick Peterson wants to boost terrorist surveillance and enhance security screening for immigrants, but stops short of a values test like the one put forward by rival Kellie Leitch

Lisa Raitt

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Conservative MP for Milton (Ontario)

  • Former Minister of Transport (2013–2015)
  • Raitt served in three portfolios in former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government: natural resources, labour and transport
  • Immigration: Believes that ensuring Canada has a strong immigration system is more important than devising a "Canadian values" test for immigrants

Andrew Saxton

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Last in Parliament October 2015 as Conservative MP for North Vancouver (B.C.)

  • Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (2013–2015)
  • Income taxes: Wants to lower income taxes for Canadians in all income tax brackets
  • Immigration: Against the idea of creating a 'citizenship values committee’

Andrew Scheer

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Conservative MP for Regina—Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)

  • Former Speaker of the House of Commons (2011–2015)
  • Has received 18 endorsements from the conservative caucus (the highest)
  • Immigration: Believes that Kellie Leitch’s system to screen immigrants is not practical

Bradley Trost

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Conservative MP for Saskatoon—University (Saskatchewan)

  • Social Conservative: Openly opposed to gay marriage, is anti-abortion, and against assisted suicide
  • Carbon tax: Does not support a carbon tax

Pierre Lemieux

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Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell (Ontario)

  • Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs (2015) and Minister of Agriculture (2011-2015)
  • Social Conservative: opposed to gay marriage, anti-abortion
  • Lemieux served in the Canadian Forces for 20 years

Kevin O’Leary

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Canadian businessman and T.V. personality

  • He dropped out of the race, but his name will appear on the ballot