Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Leslyn Lewis, Roman Baber, Jean Charest, Scott Aitchison, Patrick Brown and Pierre Poilievre on stage after the Conservative Party leadership debate in Edmonton on May 11. Mr. Brown is no longer a candidate.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

For the third time in seven years, federal Conservatives are choosing a new leader – and after MPs revolted against the last one, Erin O’Toole, finding someone who can bring the party together will be a challenge. There are five people in the race and no more scheduled debates between them, and we won’t know which one wins until Sept. 10. Check back here for the latest information on the campaign and the issues at stake.

Who’s entered and left the race so far

Confirmed Conservative leadership candidates
Open this photo in gallery:

Jean Charest at his March 10 campaign launch in Calgary.Todd Korol/Reuters

Jean Charest

A Mulroney-era cabinet minister who led the Progressive Conservatives from 1993 to 1998, Mr. Charest then switched to Quebec’s provincial Liberals, serving as premier of Quebec for nine years. He’s been out of politics since 2012′s student protests in Quebec helped the Parti Québécois unseat the Liberals.

As premier, Mr. Charest introduced a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions, but in the private sector he’s also built strong connections to Alberta’s oil-and-gas sector and was adviser to the company that sought to build the contentious Energy East pipeline.

Open this photo in gallery:

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.Blair Gable/Reuters

Pierre Poilievre

The MP for Ottawa’s Carleton riding has long positioned himself to the right of Mr. O’Toole, appealing directly to the public with social-media videos and slogans separate from the party’s. He was one of the most prominent Conservatives to support the convoy protesters who blockaded downtown Ottawa this past February, whose manifesto effectively called for overthrowing the government.

On fiscal policy, he’s taken some direct shots at the Bank of Canada, saying a Conservative government under his leadership would fire Governor Tiff Macklem – which critics have said would undermine its independence – and give the auditor-general oversight of the central bank’s transactions, an idea proposed earlier in 2022 by Andrew Scheer. Mr. Poilievre is a cryptocurrency evangelist, but wants to keep services such as bitcoin strictly in the private sector: He opposes the central bank’s still-in-development plan to create of a public digital currency.

Open this photo in gallery:

Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Leslyn Lewis

A former Bay Street lawyer, Ms. Lewis appealed to the social-conservative vote in 2020′s leadership race and managed to come in third. She won the Ontario riding of Haldimand-Norfolk last fall and is one of the few Black MPs currently in the House.

An opponent of abortion rights, she’s also been outspoken about the rights of Canadians who don’t want to declare whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, and has refused to confirm her own status.

Open this photo in gallery:

Ontario MPP Roman Baber.Roman Baber campaign/CP

Roman Baber

Mr. Baber represents the Toronto riding of York Centre in the Ontario legislature. He sat as a Progressive Conservative until January of last year, when his criticism of Premier Doug Ford’s COVID-19 restrictions at the time got him booted from caucus and barred from running for the PCs again in June’s provincial election.

Open this photo in gallery:

MP Scott Aitchison.Scott Aitchison Leadership Media Team/CP

Scott Aitchison

Mr. Aitchison is MP for Ontario’s Parry Sound-Muskoka riding and a former mayor of Huntsville, Ont. He launched his campaign on March 20.

Who’s been disqualified or dropped out

  • Patrick Brown: Up until July, Mr. Brown was one of the six finalists for the job, but the leadership race’s organizing committee said on July 5 that he would be disqualified for alleged wrongdoing related to the Canada Elections Act’s campaign-financing rules. Mr. Brown – currently mayor of Brampton, Ont., and formerly a Conservative MP and Ontario Progressive Conservative leader – called it a “fishing expedition” based on anonymous claims. On July 18, he announced he is seeking a second term as mayor of Brampton.
  • Joseph Bourgault: The CEO of a farm-equipment company in Saskatchewan, Mr. Bourgault was disqualified by the organizing committee, though he had said he met their deadline for fundraising and signatures. He is co-founder of Canadians for Truth, Freedom and Justice, a group that claims governments and “globalists” are using the pandemic to “justify the great reset.”
  • Leona Alleslev: The former Ontario MP, who served as ex-leader Andrew Scheer’s deputy, didn’t meet the April fundraising deadline and dropped out.
  • Joseph Bourgault: The CEO of a farm-equipment company in Saskatchewan, Mr. Bourgault was disqualified by the organizing committee, though he had said he met their deadline for fundraising and signatures. He is co-founder of Canadians for Truth, Freedom and Justice, a group that claims governments and “globalists” are using the pandemic to “justify the great reset.”
  • Marc Dalton: The MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, B.C., who was championed by the anti-abortion group Campaign Life Coalition, missed the fundraising deadline and bowed out.
  • Joel Etienne: The Conservative candidate for York Centre in the 2021 federal election was also disqualified by the organizing committee.
  • Grant Abraham: A consultant from B.C. who ran for a Northern Irish seat in Britain’s parliamentary elections in 2019, but was disqualified from the Conservative race.
Who ruled out running early on
Open this photo in gallery:

Conservative MP Michael Chong.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

  • Michael Chong: Conservative MP who spearheaded the Reform Act. He says he’d prefer to keep his focus on foreign policy, his shadow-cabinet role, instead of running for leader.
  • Peter MacKay: A Harper-era cabinet minister who ran and lost for the leadership to Mr. O’Toole in 2020. He says he won’t run this time.
  • Rona Ambrose: Former interim Conservative leader who’s ruled out a candidacy.
  • Doug Ford: Ontario Premier who says “my hands are full” with June’s provincial election.
  • Jason Kenney: Alberta Premier who says the position is “not of any interest to me.”
  • Brad Wall: Former Saskatchewan premier who says he’s happy with his current private-sector job.
  • Tasha Kheiriddin: A political commentator who’s supporting Mr. Charest.

Why are the Conservatives replacing Erin O’Toole?

Open this photo in gallery:

Former Conservative leader Erin OToole.GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images

A Conservative leadership race in 2022 wasn’t something Mr. O’Toole wanted to happen. He was ousted on Feb. 2 after dissident MPs in the party’s right wing – unhappy with Mr. O’Toole’s apparent moves to the centre on issues such as conversion therapy, deficits and climate change – triggered a leadership review under the rules of 2013′s Reform Act. A 73-45 vote removed him from an office he had held for less than 18 months. For his interim replacement, they chose Candice Bergen, who had been making some sympathetic overtures to the antigovernment protests that were then paralyzing downtown Ottawa.

When is the Conservative leadership race? Dates to watch

The ballots will be counted on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. ET during the Conservative Party’s leadership announcement event in downtown Ottawa. The winner will be announced that evening and the event is expected to end by 8 p.m. ET.

Conservative leadership race: More from The Globe and Mail

On the leadership debates

Debate 1: Poilievre says he would remove Bank of Canada Governor if he forms government

Debate 2: Contenders spar over past controversies, cost of living

Debate 3: ‘Leadership is about showing up,’ Charest says as Poilievre, Lewis skip final debate

On the issues

Lisa Raitt and Jim Dinning: Conservatives need a climate plan that will position Canada for a future of clean growth

Adam Radwanski: High-profile Conservatives launch bid to convince party leaders that climate policy matters

John Ibbitson: Conservative leadership convention is shaping up to be a competition for the party’s soul

Globe editorials

To save the Conservative Party, open the membership doors wide

On climate change, are the Conservatives about to make the same mistakes again?

The Reform Act has empowered (some) MPs, but more needs to be done to reform Canadian politics

Compiled by Globe staff

The Canadian Press, with reports from Ian Bailey, Robert Fife and Marieke Walsh

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe