Debates between the candidates running to lead the Conservative Party of Canada will be held in Toronto later this month, the party announced today — the French debate on June 17 and the English debate on June 18.
“The debates are designed to provide ample opportunity for our four candidates to present their ideas and answer questions directly from members and Canadians,” said Dan Nowlan, co-chair of the party’s leadership election organizing committee, in a news release.
At the moment, the party’s plan is to respect public health directives on COVID-19 by keeping all four candidates — Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan — in separate rooms at the debate venue. If those directives are eased between now and June 17, the candidates may all appear on stage together for the debate, two metres apart.
The debates will be moderated by committee co-chairs Nowlan and Lisa Raitt. Questions for the candidates are being solicited from Canadians and both events will set aside time for candidates to debate each other one-on-one.
Participation in the debates is mandatory under party rules; any candidate who refuses to take part can be fined $50,000.