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. The window is closed for new candidates to declare themselves, leaving six people in the race, 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
The current mayor of Brampton, Ont., Mr. Brown is a former federal Conservative MP, and was the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader from 2015 to 2018, when he quit as he faced sexual-misconduct allegations that he strongly denied.
He launched his campaign with a 25-minute address in Brampton on March 13 where he underscored his potential to help the Conservative Party make inroads in urban and suburban Canada.
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. His March 10 campaign launch was a dual event in Montreal and Calgary.
The MP for Ottawa’s Carleton riding was first to announce his intention to run, only three days after Mr. O’Toole’s ouster.
He’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 dropped out
- 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
- 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?
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
- June 3: Deadline for new party members to join and be eligible to vote for leader.
- Late July and early August: Ballots mailed to party members.
- Sept. 10: New leader announced.
Conservative leadership race: More from The Globe and Mail
Erin O’Toole is out as Conservative leader, but who will take his place? Chief political writer Campbell Clark explains who the early favourites are. Subscribe for more episodes.
On the candidates
On the issues
Compiled by Globe staff
The Canadian Press, with reports from Ian Bailey, Robert Fife and Marieke Walsh