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A debate for the Conservative leadership without Pierre Poilievre

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest is one of only three candidates expected to take the stage for the third and final official debate in the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race on Wednesday. Because we already know that the alleged leader, Pierre Poilievre, will be conspicuous by his absence.

In addition to Mr. Charest, the Ontario federal deputy Scott Aitchison and the former provincial deputy of Ontario Roman Baber must also take part in the oratory contest organized on the outskirts of Ottawa. The bilingual formula suggests exchanges first in English, at 6 p.m., before switching to French around 6:45 p.m.

Two of the five candidates for the post of leader have already publicly announced that they had better things to do than run: the race favorite, Pierre Poilievre, as well as Leslyn Lewis, who made his opposition to the right to the abortion his workhorse.

Even though the last debate takes place a stone’s throw from his riding of Carleton, Pierre Poilievre declined his party’s invitation, arguing that he has already crossed swords enough with his opponents. His campaign also ridiculed the organization of the only official debate in English, in Edmonton, by attacking in particular the relevance of the questions and the choice of the host, “a media personality from the Saint-Laurent elite”.

Candidate Leslyn Lewis also announced her absence from this last debate, citing a scheduling conflict with an event already planned for her campaign. Absent candidates are fined $50,000 by the party.

Candidate Patrick Brown, who took part in the other official debates, was disqualified from the race by party authorities in July. He is accused of having “accepted donations from a company”, which is contrary to the Canada Elections Act, as well as irregularities in the sale of membership cards.

Previous exchanges between the candidates had been marked by the rivalry between candidates Pierre Poilievre and Jean Charest. Both men transposed their attacks on the Webwhere they have been insulting each other for several months.

debate on debate

The Conservative Party of Canada decided to organize a third debate following a consultation with its members during which 24,000 of them would have “massively” supported the holding of a final confrontation.

This represents only a tiny fraction of the party’s approximately 679,000 members, replies the Poilievre camp, which questions the legitimacy of the event.

“It’s going to be a one man show of [Jean] Charest”, predicts MP Pierre Paul-Hus, joined by The duty Wednesday. A few hours before the meeting, the only Quebec elected official who openly supports the candidacy of Mr. Poilievre was “not sure” to watch the last debate of the race for the leadership of his party.

Mr. Poilievre is currently on tour to remind his supporters to register their vote; it is for this occasion that he is passing through Saskatchewan on Wednesday, explains Pierre Paul-Hus. The elected official does not believe that the unity of the Quebec Conservative caucus risks cracking if his candidate wins, he rather says he expects that “most [de ses collègues] rally” to Mr. Poilievre.

Seven of the ten Quebecers elected under the Conservative banner support Jean Charest. Because of his position as deputy leader of the party, MP Luc Berthold has not taken a position in the race, and the MP for Lévis-Lotbinière, Jacques Gourde, wishes to remain neutral so as not to interfere with his private bill extend employment insurance coverage in the event of illness.

In a newspaper interview The right, Tory MP Alain Rayes has not pledged to remain a Tory MP if Mr Poilievre becomes leader on September 10. His colleague Joël Godin even told The Press that he evaluates the possibility of joining another party or sitting as an independent member if this scenario occurs.

Pierre Poilievre has made headlines both for his flamboyant controversial statements and for having packed houses at political rallies. He raised nearly three times as much money this spring for his leadership campaign as his closest rival, Jean Charest. He also claims to have recruited far more new Conservative members than any of his rivals.

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