QUEBEC CITY—Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) delegates considered a number of amendments to the party’s constitution and policy proposals on the second day of the convention at the Centre des congrès de Québec in Quebec City on Sept. 8.
Among the more consequential proposed constitutional amendments was allowing Canadians abroad to vote in party leadership races and elect delegates. The amendment was voted down amid concerns of foreign interference should those abroad come under the pressure of foreign governments.
The afternoon session featured a keynote speech by former Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay, who jokingly referred to speculation about whether he’ll run as a CPC candidate again.
“I figured there’s no better place than here with all of you to let you in in a little secret,” he said. “I believe Pierre Poilievre will be the next prime minister of Canada.”
Mr. MacKay emphasized the need for the Conservatives to unite in order to win the next election.
“I have every confidence that Pierre can do what Conservatives have done for our country throughout our history, and that’s build a more prosperous Canada, a more secure Canada, and a more united Canada,” he said.
“But in order to do that, and if you remember nothing else that I’ve said here today, in order to build a united Canada, we must remain united as a Conservative Party.”
Barry Mehr, a businessman and president of the Electoral District Association (EDA), thinks the Conservative Party will have a good chance in the next election.
“Canada’s becoming desperate. We’ve lost our credibility internationally, and we need to rebuild that,” Mr. Mehr said in an interview.
“There is no foreign interest in investing in Canada, and we’ve got to fix that. And if we don’t that, we’ll be shocked by how bad our standard of living will become.”
Mr. Mehr’s EDA has put forth a number of policy proposals to be considered at the convention.
He says it’s true that the party leadership doesn’t have to follow the policy resolutions. But he says it gives the party more information and guidance.
“It allows the grassroots to give guidance. But the party leadership has all the information, they get more information than anybody, and hopefully they make pragmatic decision on the advice of the people they trust like us.”
Daphne Tot, a Guelph resident who is running as a candidate for National Council in Ontario, says she decided to get active in the party in 2020 prior to the party leadership race because she didn’t like the direction in which the CPC was headed.
She says she’s now active in the party because she doesn’t like the direction the country is headed in.
“My children can’t buy a home. My grandchildren will be saddled with a massive debt. This is not the Canada I grew up in,” Ms. Tot said in an interview.
She says she hopes to be the “voice of the grassroots” on the National Council.
While voting on policy proposals are reserved for the delegates, Ms. Tot says there are a number of resolutions that she’d like to see being adopted, including ensuring free speech, keeping transgender people out of women’s sports, and for the government to stay out of parental rights.
“Parents are legally responsible for their children until the age of 18. They can’t go on trips without their parents’ signature, they can’t have minor cosmetic surgery without a parent’s signature. So why are they allowing surgeries that are non-reversible?” she said.
Amber Ruddy, who is running for National Council in Alberta, says the council has an important role to play, as it sets the rules for candidate nominations.
“I think that having a voice for the grassroots members and keeping our party accountable to the members, the hardworking Canadians, is important,” she told The Epoch Times.
She adds that while she realizes Alberta is already a Conservative stronghold, she says they have to ensure the few seats that went to the Liberals and the NDP in the major urban centres of Edmonton and Calgary in the last election go to the Tories next time.
“There’s still room to grow,” she said.