It’s official: Who’s in, who’s out of the Conservative leadership race

By The Canadian Press

The Conservative party says there are six official candidates in the leadership race that will culminate with a winner announced Sept. 10.

Candidates had to submit the full $300,000 required in registration fees and a compliance deposit, along with signatures from 500 party members by last Friday.

Here is a look at the names on the ballot and who did not make the final cut.

Who’s in:

Scott Aitchison: The two-term Ontario MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka launched his campaign on March 20. Before being elected as an MP in 2019, he served as the mayor of Huntsville, Ont. Most recently, he was the Conservatives’ labour critic.

Roman Baber: The Independent member of the Ontario legislature was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus by Premier Doug Ford for speaking out against COVID-19 lockdowns in January 2021. He says he was the first candidate in the race to do so, and also wants to stand up to cancel culture.

Patrick Brown: The mayor of Brampton, Ont., and former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives entered the race March 13 at a launch in the Greater Toronto Area. He previously served as an MP. He has pitched a bigger Conservative tent, with plans to rebuild trust with members of Canada’s “cultural communities.”

Jean Charest: The former Quebec premier who led the federal Progressive Conservatives in the mid-1990s is jumping back into politics and formally launched his campaign in Calgary. He’s running the under slogan “Built to Win.” Charest, 63, is highlighting his years of experience to party members.

Leslyn Lewis: The third-place finisher in the 2020 leadership race is running again. In the past contest, the former Bay Street lawyer enjoyed heavy backing from the party’s socially conservative members and those in Western Canada. She was elected as an MP last fall in the rural southwestern Ontario riding of Haldimand-Norfolk.

Pierre Poilievre: The 42-year-old longtime Ottawa-area MP declared his candidacy just days after former leader Erin O’Toole was ousted. His rallies across Canada have at times drawn crowds in the thousands. One of his chief promises is to cancel the federal carbon tax.

Who’s out:

Leona Alleslev: The former Ontario MP joined the Conservatives in 2018 after crossing the floor from the Liberals. She was the party’s deputy leader under former leader Andrew Scheer. She announced last week she was unable to raise the required $300,000 by the deadline.

Joseph Bourgault: The businessman from rural Saskatchewan, who travelled to Ottawa for the “Freedom Convoy” earlier this year, had promised to eliminate all COVID-19 mandates should he win the leadership. He did not make the final list.

Marc Dalton: The MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge was first elected federally in 2019. A former teacher, he also served as a B.C. Liberal MLA from 2009 to 2017. He did not make the final list.

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