Conservatives postpone policy convention to focus on organizing leadership race

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives say they’re postponing a policy convention that had been scheduled for mid-April to allow more time to organize an upcoming leadership race.

The party announced the delay Saturday afternoon, saying that the convention will now take place in November in Quebec City.

“The Conservative Party’s National Council voted Friday to delay the policy convention planned for Toronto from April 16 to 18 so greater focus could be given to the details and organization around the Conservative leadership election process,” the party said in a news release.

The Tories are gearing up for a leadership contest after leader Andrew Scheer announced earlier this month that he will step down when a new leader is chosen.

The move wasn’t entirely unexpected, coming after months of both behind-the-scenes and very public pressure linked to his failure to win power from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October.

But the issue of his leadership came to a head when accusations surfaced that he’d used party funds to cover the costs of sending his kids to private school.

The party has yet to provide a timeline for the leadership race.

Some in the party have called for the selection of their next leader to take place after April, while others say with a minority government in Ottawa, there is no time to waste.

A former senior party official said earlier this week it would have been feasible — but exceptionally difficult — for the Conservatives to pick a new leader at the convention had it gone ahead in April.

Dan Nowlan, who oversaw the 2017 leadership contest that ended in a victory for Scheer, said it would take a lot of work to organize the contest that quickly.

Potential candidates’ names are already swirling, including Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre, former cabinet minister Peter MacKay and one-time interim party leader Rona Ambrose.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Ambulance dispatch should be kept local,’ says Red Deer mayor

Four Alberta mayors meet with Minister of Health on Thursday

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

Empty Red Deer hotels could be purchased to create more affordable housing

City and its housing partners will be applying for a new federal program to reduce homelessness

As Agri-Trade neared exhibitors had second thoughts

Agricultural show cancelled rather than fall short of expectations

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Democrats to redraft virus relief in bid to jump-start talks

Democrats to redraft virus relief in bid to jump-start talks

Small hamlet named Swastika keeps name, despite complaint

Small hamlet named Swastika keeps name, despite complaint

Despite Trump attacks, both parties vow orderly election

Despite Trump attacks, both parties vow orderly election

‘No easy answer’: Many ask what next in Breonna Taylor case

‘No easy answer’: Many ask what next in Breonna Taylor case

Home prices could fall 7 per cent in 2021, hitting Prairies hard: Moody’s forecast

Home prices could fall 7 per cent in 2021, hitting Prairies hard: Moody’s forecast

Ulta Beauty halts expansion into Canada to focus on U.S. operations, online shopping

Ulta Beauty halts expansion into Canada to focus on U.S. operations, online shopping

Airlines demand ‘concrete plan’ for financial aid after throne speech hints at relief

Airlines demand ‘concrete plan’ for financial aid after throne speech hints at relief

Ottawa’s plan to rein in tech giants missing key pieces, say experts

Ottawa’s plan to rein in tech giants missing key pieces, say experts

Most Read