Conservative Party to hold third leadership debate as voting continues

The Conservative Party of Canada has announced that it will hold a third leadership debate of the candidates to succeed Erin O’Toole as official leader of the party.

The party’s leadership election organizing committee said it made the decision after polling 24,000 members and found that 65% supported the decision.

The announcement will be welcomed by former Quebec premier and leadership candidate Jean Charest who called for a third debate in a social media post on Wednesday afternoon.

Along with Charest, candidates Scott Aitchison and Roman Baber voiced support for a third debate.

Leslyn Lewis’ campaign recently said she was traveling the country to meet with members, but would attend a third debate if the party decided to hold one.

Members saw candidates perform at two party-sanctioned debates in May. The English debate took place in Edmonton, followed by a French debate in Laval, Quebec.

The party has told campaigns it can expect the candidates to be called back for a possible third debate in early August.

The outreach and Charest’s call for another debate comes as party members began voting for their next leader and the party began validating ballots that were returned.

The party is considering a voters list of more than 670,000 names, more than double the size when members chose O’Toole to lead the Conservatives in 2020.

The official results of this race will be announced in Ottawa on September 10th.