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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MP Deepak Obhrai joins Conservative leadership race #CPC #cdnpoli

Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai is joining the race for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party.

Obhrai, who represents the Calgary Forest Lawn riding, was first elected in 1997 as a member of the Reform Party.

Obhrai wants the Conservative Party of Canada to become more inclusive of people from all walks of life. “We are a party that is for all Canadians, no matter where they come from or whether they’re disabled, visible minorities, or young, women,” he told CBC News. “They should have an equal voice in this party.”

In April, Obhrai broke ranks with the Conservative establishment over proposed changes to the party’s rules, including boosting the annual fee for individual members to $25 — the highest among all federal parties — and the registration fee for party leadership contenders to $100,000.

The change would prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from joining the Conservatives and turn the party into an “elitist, white-only club,” Obhrai said at the time.

The party’s national council ultimately backed down and reduced the one-year membership fee to $15.

Source: CBC

Tony Clement launches campaign to become next Conservative leader #cdnpoli #CPC

Conservative MP Tony Clement launched his campaign to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Clement made the announcement surrounded by supporters in Mississauga, Ont., promising he is the “leader, who represents the experience, and the innovation, who can win back the trust of Canadians in suburban and urban communities alike across the land.”

Clement said he was “tested, and ready today, to earn back the confidence of families, of millennials, of moms and dads, of urban and rural Canadians, and of small business leaders, and seniors who want government to be an empowering force for good.”

A former minister in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, Clement spoke at length about his roots as an immigrant from the United Kingdom who was brought up on strong family values.

Clement also cited his experience as the former minister of health for the Ontario Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris.

This is Clement’s second run at the party’s leadership. In 2004 he placed third against Harper and auto parts mogul Belinda Stronach.

Source: CBC

NDP Sets Time Frame for Leadership Vote

The Federal Council of the New Democratic Party of Canada met in Ottawa to make key decisions about the process for the NDP to elect its next leader. The Council decided that the next leader will be elected between September 17, 2017 and October 31, 2017.

The nomination period will begin on July 2, 2016.

As per the party Constitution, the Leader will be elected by secret ballot. Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the Leader. Candidates for the leadership with the fewest number of votes will drop off the ballot in subsequent rounds until one candidate receives 50% plus one or more of the total votes cast in that round.

In order to run, Candidates will be required to provide a registration fee of $30,000. The spending limit has been established at $1.5 million. Administration fees of 25% will be levied on all monetary donations.