Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 4, 2022
Charest, Baber and Aitchison keep it courteous in final Conservative leadership debate
Three of the five candidates vying to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada took part in the race’s final debate Wednesday evening in Ottawa in what proved to be a courteous, sparks-free affair — aside from the barbs aimed at those not in attendance.
The bilingual event, with the first half taking part in English, came just over one month from when the party will select its third permanent leader in five years on Sept. 10.
Jean Charest, the former Quebec premier and one of only three candidates who took part in the debate, chided the presumed frontrunner, MP Pierre Poilievre, and another candidate, MP Leslyn Lewis, for not participating.
Charest likened the decision to “a fish that says it doesn’t want to swim in the ocean” and thanked Conservative MP Scott Aitchison and former Ontario MPP Roman Baber for showing up on Wednesday.