Conservative Party of Canada members will be voting on resolutions to make candidate nominations fairer and more transparent and to ban lobbyists from serving on the party’s governing body at this week’s convention in Quebec City.
Delegates will be voting on a total of 37 constitutional resolutions, in addition to 60 policy resolutions. Constitutional resolutions are binding and lead to the amending of the party’s constitution.
Constitutional resolutions are submitted by Electoral District Associations (EDAs), which are made up of party members in local constituencies across the country. This gives the possibility for grassroots members to influence the party’s policies. The party’s National Council can also submit resolutions.
Several resolutions aim to reform the candidate nomination process. This comes amid controversy that arose over the candidate nomination of the riding of Oxford, where pro-life candidate Gerrit Van Norland was disqualified.
Submission C-32 from the Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek EDA would require the party’s National Candidate Selection Committee to “provide to the candidate all detailed information used for the disallowance of a candidate within 48 hours of the disqualification,” in the case where a candidate is barred from running.
It would also allow for candidates to “appeal of such a disallowance decision to a meeting of National Council in which the candidate shall have the opportunity to provide a live appeal in the same format as the meeting.”
The resolution would also require the leader to “sign the Candidate nomination forms with Elections Canada based on National Council’s decision”
The rationale for the resolution reads “we do not believe in candidate cancel culture!”
“This proposal would help end candidate cancel culture, which hinders good candidates from running due to the fear that they will be cancelled. This process (also) shields the leader from the political pressure to disqualify candidates, since it is rather the decision of National Council.”
Submission C-6 from the Vancouver Centre EDA also seeks to add more transparency to the nomination process by requiring all committees, including the National Candidate Selection Committee, to record minutes and make those minutes public.
“it is absurd that a candidate can be disqualified at the National Candidate Selection Committee and the membership has no idea which of their elected reps brought forward and seconded the motion and who voted for/against this,” reads the rationale.
Submission C-36 from the Kitchener Centre EDA seeks to give the EDA board the power to “veto any decision by National Council and/or the Leader preventing a candidate from running in a nomination contest or election.”
The rationale notes that the resolution “provides an appropriate check and balance on the power of National Council and the Leader’s office.”
Resolution C-33 from the Calgary Heritage EDA seeks to standardize the nomination process by instructing National Council to create rules and procedures for the selection of candidates “with clear timelines.”
“Members shall be notified of the close of nomination via email, at least 14 days in advance of the official closing of the nomination period,” and “the date of the nomination vote shall be at least 14 days after the official closing of the nomination period.”
The rationale for the policy notes that “transparent and open communication to EDA membership regarding the opening and closing dates of a nomination race, and the process for obtaining and submitting a nomination package, is essential for our continued efforts to build and maintain support for the party at the EDA level.”
Resolution C-35 from the Carleton Trail–Eagle Creek EDA would change the rules for incumbent nominations.
“Nominations shall be held in every Electoral District, regardless of incumbency, in a majority parliament. In a minority parliament, for Electoral Districts where there is an incumbent, members shall be sent a ballot asking if they want a nomination vote. If more than 50% of all the members in the Electoral District vote in favour of holding a nomination, a nomination shall be held.”
The rationale notes that “in the current minority parliament, National Council decided that incumbent protection would be based on raising $15,000 per year for the EDA. We believe in free and open nominations decided by members. In minority parliaments this should be balanced with a high threshold so that the only very unpopular incumbents will face nomination races.”
Constitutional resolutions are also seeking to change who is eligible to sit on the party’s governing body, the National Council.
Resolution C-19 from the Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill EDA would ban those listed on federally recognized lobbyist registries from being members of National Council.
It would also ban lobbyists from serving as party leader, directors of the Conservative Fund or Executive Director of the party.
The resolution’s rationale says the proposal “would modernize our constitution by bringing it in line with the broadly accepted conflict-of- interest rules that the vast majority of organizations have.”
Resolution C-7 from the Vancouver Centre EDA would also ban parents, siblings, spouses, children, as well as anyone normally residing in the same household as a member of the Conservative Party caucus from sitting on the National Council.
Furthermore, it would ban anyone “barred by any legislation or any Standing Order(s) of Parliament from working in the office of an MP or Senator” or that holds a commercial or financial interest in the Conservative Fund, the Conservative Party, or Conservative caucus caucus from sitting on National Council.
Resolution C-30 from the Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston EDA seeks to change the leadership review process so that an automatic vote take place after a leader loses an election, rather than at the next convention following an election loss.
“A Leadership Review vote is triggered when, following a General Election, the leader of a party other than the Conservative Party is sworn in as prime minister,” reads the resolution.
The rationale notes that “the members choose the leader, and should vote on whether to retain the leader after an election loss. A fixed timeline within four months of the swearing-in of a non-Conservative government gives certainty that the leadership vote will occur within a reasonable time frame.”
“The current procedure leads to timing uncertainty, especially in a minority parliament, and potential delegate selection based on how a delegate may vote.”
Resolution C-23 meanwhile from the Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek EDA meanwhile seeks to require the party leader and caucus to “promote and implement the Policy Declaration and not deviate substantively from the Policy Declaration when developing an election platform and legislation.”
The rationale noted O’Toole’s platform, which some accused of having policies not in line with conservative principles. “The 2021 election platform deviated substantively from this section of the Policy Declaration. We believe that it should be clearly stated that the role of the leader and caucus is to promote and implement the policy declaration.”
The full list of constitutional resolutions that will be debated at the convention can be found here.
As previously reported by True North, members will also be debating several “anti-woke” policy proposals. Resolutions advancing to the convention will, among other things, address gender ideology as well as “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI).
The Conservative Party of Canada convention takes place Sept. 7-9 at the Quebec City Convention Centre. True North will be on the ground to bring you independent coverage.