Conservative leadership candidates jointly call for delayed vote

OTTAWA — Three contenders vying to become the next federal Conservative leader have banded together to call for the race to be delayed and for fees to be cut in half due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marilyn Gladu, Rudy Husny and Derek Sloan have written a joint letter to the Conservative party’s leadership election organizing committee expressing dismay that their previous, individual requests for a delay have so far been ignored.

They say this “lack of an acceptable response” to individual candidates has necessitated a unified request.

They say in their letter Canada’s political and national-security landscape has shifted radically since the launch of the campaign, making the original dates and requirements “inappropriate” and inconsiderate of Canadians facing health concerns and economic uncertainty.

Meanwhile, a fourth candidate, Leslyn Lewis, is slamming leadership contender Peter MacKay for suggesting the leadership vote be fast-tracked — calling his proposal “undemocratic.”

Lewis says MacKay believes he’s in the lead and wants to wrap up the ”pesky leadership process” before other candidates have time to sign up new supporters.

Wednesday is the deadline for contenders to enter the race, complete with the required $300,000 fee and 3,000 signatures, with the vote currently scheduled for June 27.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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