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ontario politics

Ontario PC leadership candidate Christine Elliott speaks as candidates Tanya Granic Allen, left, Caroline Mulroney and Doug Ford participate in a debate in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.Justin Tang

Ontario's Progressive Conservative party is giving members more time to cast their votes for a new leader.

A senior party source says the deadline to vote for Patrick Brown's replacement has been pushed back to noon on Friday, March 9, a half day later than the original deadline.

The party is also allowing more time for members to register to cast their online ballots, pushing the deadline back for the second time in one week and setting the new registration cutoff date at March 7 at 8:00 p.m.

The leadership contest, hastily organized after Brown's abrupt resignation in late January, has been plagued by criticisms of the voting system put in place to elect the new leader.

Four candidates are currently vying for the top job — former Tory legislator Christine Elliott, former Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford, Toronto lawyer Caroline Mulroney and social conservative advocate Tanya Granic Allen.

The party plans to announce the winner of the leadership race on March 10.

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