Steven Blaney enters Conservative Party Leadership Race #cdnpoli #CPC

Quebec MP Steven Blaney is running for leadership of the Conservative Party.

Mr. Blaney was first elected in 2006 in the riding of Lévis-Bellechasse.  He served as Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Public Safety under former PM Stephen Harper.

Mr. Blaney’s first policy position is that he would introduce legislation that would forbid the wearing of the niqab while voting and taking the oath of citizenship. He also said that the prohibition would extend to people working in the federal public service. He indicated he would use Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which gives Parliament little-used override powers to block any court challenges to his legislation.

Mr. Blaney said he also would give more powers to the country’s security agencies to “substantially expand their current screening capacity regarding potential national security threats.” He said those agencies have been overwhelmed with the influx of refugees from war-torn regions.

He also wants to change the citizenship test given to prospective new Canadians, to verify their “understanding and appreciation of Canada’s core principles.”

The Conservative Party will hold its leadership election on May 27, 2017.

Source: CBC

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Tony Clement drops out of the Conservative leadership race #cdnpoli #CPC

Conservative MP Tony Clement is ending his bid to lead the Conservative Party.

“Unfortunately upon review I’ve come to the conclusion that we really haven’t met the goals as I had wanted to. Accordingly, I have decided to end my leadership campaign,” Clement said.

“I make this decision not very lightly of course, but owing to the financial realities, it’s very clear that I cannot expose my family to any further financial risk at this time.”

Clement didn’t say whether he’d throw his support behind another candidate. For now, he says, he’ll focus on supporting interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose.

Source: CTV

Chris Alexander expected to join Conservative leadership race #cdnpoli #CPC

Former immigration minister Chris Alexander is expected to join the race for the federal Conservative leadership.

A source with close knowledge of the race confirms Alexander is gathering the necessary signatures and financial support and building a team for a run.

The source says his campaign is expected to focus on foreign policy and the economy.

Alexander served as Immigration Minister under former PM Stephen Harper.

Alexander became embroiled in controversy during last year’s election campaign amid questions about the government’s handling of the Syrian refugee crisis.

He was also criticized for promising, along with then-labour minister Kellie Leitch, to create a telephone tip line to report so-called “barbaric cultural practices.”

Andrew Scheer officially launches Conservative leadership bid #CPC #cdnpoli

Andrew Scheer launched his campaign for the federal Conservative Party’s leadership, backed by 20 MPs and senators who support his bid.

Scheer, who served as House Speaker for the four years prior to the last election, framed his campaign as one that’s positive and one that focuses on conservative values like low taxes, respect for families and economic growth.

The 36-year-old MP for Regina-Qu’Appelle said the race means he’ll spend a lot of time away from his wife and five children, but said the sacrifice is worth it so the Conservatives can defeat the Liberals in 2019.

Scheer outlined his vision for the Conservative Party, suggesting he’d keep the faith of long-time supporters while adopting a fresh approach.
“Conservatives do not win when we abandon our principles. We do not need to change who we are. We’re the party of prosperity, not envy. The party of hope for the middle-class, not sweetheart deals for insiders and the elite. A party with a clear and distinct vision for our country, not a pale imitation of the Liberals,” he said.

While outlining his bid, Scheer faced repeated questions about his own values, including whether he would like to see restrictions placed on abortion and gay marriage, two measures he’d voted in favour for in the past. Scheer said caucus and party unity are his priorities, and it’s important that every kind of conservative feels comfortable in the party.

Source: CTV News

Conservative Leadership Candidate Brad Trost draws criticism for Same-Sex Marriage Ad #CPC #cdnpoli

Saskatoon MP Brad Trost has attracted criticism after a Facebook ad defined marriage as “the union of one man one woman.”

Trost is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. His campaign started running ads with a picture of two fingers side by side, with the message “Marriage is the union of one man, one woman.”

brad-trost-ad

First elected in 2004, Trost has been vocal on many social conservative issues, including same-sex marriage.

“I think that what he’s made very clear is his personal views,” said campaign spokesperson Mike Patton. “We can only benefit from having discussions about same-sex marriage and abortion.”

Patton said Trost doesn’t agree with the way parliament voted on same-sex marriage, but because a majority of MPs voted in favour of the change, he wouldn’t take steps to reverse it.

Source: CBC

Candice Bergen appointed Conservative House leader #cdnpoli #CPC

Former cabinet minister Candice Bergen has been appointed the Conservative Party’s House leader, replacing Andrew Scheer. Scheer recently stepped down to pursue a leadership bid.

The Manitoba MP had floated a leadership run of her own, but that now seems unlikely given her new appointment. Candidates for leadership cannot serve in the party’s shadow cabinet.

Bergen had served as the party’s natural resources critic.

Source: CBC

Andrew Scheer steps down as Conservative House leader to explore party leadership run #CPC #cdnpoli

Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer has resigned as Opposition House leader in order to explore a bid for leadership of the federal Conservative Party.

Scheer began his brief statement to the media in French, distinguishing himself from other leadership contenders who are not bilingual.

Scheer thanked interim leader Rona Ambrose for the opportunity to serve, but said the House leader role requires 100 per cent of his attention, making it necessary to step down.

He said he would have more to say “once the final decision has been made and the final pieces have come together for a leadership bid.”

Source: CBC