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Conservatives postpone Calgary convention

Residents of Elbow Park make their way back to their home in Calgary June 22, 2013.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

The Conservative Party is postponing its convention scheduled for Calgary next week after the city was heavily hit by flooding.

The convention was scheduled to begin June 27 and would have assembled more than 2,000 delegates, alternatives and observers in the downtown Telus Convention Centre.

Hundreds of media and family of delegates were also expected to attend.

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A new date has not been set.

Conservative Party President John Walsh said the party decided the event would detract from Calgary's rebuilding effort.

"It became clear that holding the national convention at this time would not be in the best interests of the people of Calgary," Mr. Walsh said.

"At this time the focus needs to be on the safety of Calgarians, and a convention our size iwth the security it entails could mean taking first responders away from the work they are doing," the party president said.

Mr. Walsh said the party doesn't want to inhibit Calgary's plans to proceed with the early July Stampede.

"The focus will soon shift to the rebuilding that needs to follow and with Stampede starting soon, a major economic driver for the region, we do not want our convention to interfere in the work that needs to be done to ensure that important event happens."

Mr. Walsh said the party's national council will discuss and decide when to hold the convention.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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