Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday March 8, 2022
Who’s in, who’s out, and who else might join the Conservative Party leadership race
With Sept. 10 picked as the date for when the Conservative Party of Canada will have a new leader, time is ticking for prospective candidates and their teams to get into place. Those running have until April 19 to throw their hat into the ring and until June 3 to sell memberships.
Here’s a look at the contest so far:
IN: Pierre Poilievre: The 42-year-old Ottawa-area MP and well-known Conservative declared his candidacy almost one month ago. He has begun fundraising and holding events. At one, he pledged to cancel the federal carbon tax.
CONSIDERING: Jean Charest: The former Quebec premier who led the federal Progressive Conservatives in the mid-1990s is considering a run. He recently held a reception for MPs and senators in Ottawa and met with more of them one-on-one. He says he wanted to see the rules of the race before making a final decision.
Leslyn Lewis: The third-place finisher in the 2020 leadership race is expected to enter the contest next week. The Ontario MP recently emailed supporters asking if she could count on them to pick her on a ballot if she decides to run. Last time she ran, Lewis enjoyed heavy backing from the party’s social conservative members and those in Western Canada.
Scott Aitchison: He’s the two-term Ontario MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka. Before that, he served as the mayor of Huntsville, Ont. He confirmed he’s building a team and would have more to say later next week. Most recently, he’s served as the Conservative critic for labour.
Patrick Brown: The mayor of Brampton, Ont., said before former leader Erin O’Toole was ousted by his MPs he was focused on reopening the city. However, Brown is considering a run. The former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives has also championed a stronger stand against a controversial secularism law in Quebec, something many Tory MPs and party members feel strongly about.
Roman Baber: He’s an Independent MPP in Ontario who Premier Doug Ford booted from caucus last year for speaking out against COVID-19 lockdowns. He has since come out as opposing vaccine mandates and recently raised concerns about the federal Liberal government’s invoking of the Emergencies Act to quell anti-government protests and blockades.
Peter MacKay: He’s a former cabinet minister and leader of one of the Conservative party’s predecessors, the Progressive Conservative party. He placed second to O’Toole in the 2020 leadership race in a contest many felt he was likely to win. In fact, MacKay is still fundraising to pay down this debts from the contest.
Always enjoyed Graeme MacKay’s cartoons, though he always seemed to make my nose too small. The proper Scottish pronunciation is MacK-i …but the Canadian/American way became Mack-Ay. I suspect we would both answer to either if called to pick up a free beer @ the pub.
— Peter MacKay (@PeterMacKay) March 12, 2022
Tasha Kheiriddin: The political commentator and consultant has said she’s been encouraged to run and is taking the idea seriously.
Michael Chong: The longtime Ontario MP ran in 2017 and recently said he hasn’t ruled out the idea of entering the race. He serves as the Conservative critic for foreign affairs.
OUT: Rona Ambrose: The party’s last interim leader, who was a cabinet minister in former prime minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, says she’s not going to run despite many Tories hoping she would.
Brad Wall: Saskatchewan’s former premier says he’s enjoying life in the private sector so won’t be returning to elected politics.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford: Ford says his hands are full running for re-election provincially in June.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney: The former MP and high-profile cabinet minister in the Harper government says he’s not interested in going after the party’s top job. (CTV News)
LETTERS to the EDITOR
The Hamilton Spectator, Saturday March 12, 2022
I expect better from The Spec
Wednesday’s editorial cartoon adds a crass and unnecessary joke in the form of a question imagined by prospective Conservative party leadership candidates, “Is my perineum limber?” A boot on either side of a wide chasm already makes the point that the federal conservative tent is broad and will be challenging to unify.
I expect better from The Spectator than to publish political commentary peppered with homophobia.
So perineums are off limits in humour? I’m hesitant to Google why. pic.twitter.com/Jg8j3vejdH
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) March 12, 2022