Conservative Party of Canada Leadership Candidates to Oppose.

Here is the list of Candidates who have failed to meet our expectations.

Our criteria for determining suitability for Leadership of the Conservative Party, Leader of the Opposition and potential Prime Minister, are non partisan ideals that every Canadian should believe in:

Candidates should support at minimum:

  • Individual Freedom
  • Equality
  • Privacy Rights

Candidates should also have

  • Political Experience
  • Sound Policies

Coincidentally, the ideals we expect candidates to support can be mapped directly to principles of the Conservative Party of Canada. Every candidate on this list fails to meet at least 2 of these criteria, and have declared policies or made statements that directly conflict with the Conservative Party of Canada Constitution.

Kellie Leitch

Kellie Leitch is taking a lot of her cues from Donald Trump’s campaign in the States. She is presents herself as a woman of the people standing up against the elite class that apparently rules this country. Like Trump, Ms Leitch, could easily be described as an Elite but for different reasons. She is a MD, a Surgeon, has an MBA and is also an MP. Just one of those credentials would put her high above the common person.
Kellie puts a lot of stock in perceived Canadian values, though the values she has selected conflict with Canada’s history. Before this campaign, she was part of the team that announced the RCMP “tip line” where Canadians could report “barbaric cultural practices.” During the leadership campaign she has taken this idea further and included a policy for Screening Immigrants for Canadian Values in her platform. These screening policies would hold immigrants to a standard well beyond those of the average Canadian citizen are often accountable for. The proposed screenings appear to be based in inappropriate stereotypes aimed at specific ethnic groups. When first announced, the proposed screenings only target new immigrants, but after experience some backlash, she claimed the screenings could be apply White Supremacists too. We haven’t reviewed the statistics, but we expect very few white supremacists are immigrating to Canada, and would be very surprised to learn that most of those currently in the country were not born here. We believe that these policies are the first steps down of a very slippery that would open the door to screening immigrants who are already established in Canada. Which could eventually lead to screening of Canadian citizens.
Ms. Leitch’s Canada is not a mosaic of its people. It is a monotone homogeneous machine. Diversity has always been our strength, those who enter the country are expected to keep their heritage and add it to the tapestry of our population. Canada is a country built on a foundation of immigration. Assuming those who differ from the status quo have no place in our country, rejects the principles our country was built upon.
To make matters more confusing, Kellie Leitch’s public statements present a very specific Canadian identity, yet she proposes dismantling the CBC: the same network tasked with highlighting aspects of the Canadian identity. Kellie Leitch claims that funding the CBC with tax money is an unfair advantage over the other networks. While this is true to some extent, the other networks do not have the CBC’s mandate to preserve and contribute to the development of Canadian culture.
If her views haven’t already got your blood boiling, you may not have heard about her first campaign manager’s strategy of deliberately posting fake news. Nick Kouvaliss’s plan is to collect a list of people who respond negatively to their fake news, and compare that list of people to those who join the Conservative Party with plans to vote against Kellie Leitch. He plans to challenge their membership in order to exclude them from voting. We don’t believe this is a valid threat, but the message has been received loud and clear. This kind of bullying, reliance on falsehood, and divisiveness is a poor indicator of what to expect from Prime Minister Kellie Leitch.
We will not stand for it.

Kevin O’Leary

By Randstad Canada – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

Kevin O’Leary withdrew from the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race on April 26th, 2017. Hours before the final debate, he realised he didn’t speak French and decided that the job would best be left to those willing or able to speak both official languages.

Kevin O’Leary has endorsed Maxime Bernier.

Maxime Bernier has proposed to abolish the capital gains tax.

We understand why Kevin O’Leary is in favour of Maxime Bernier.  As a wealthy investor, most of O’Leary’s income is capital gains.

Do you believe you should be paying tax while someone as wealthy as Kevin O’Leary is paying NO tax!?

We suspect that we will be seeing a lot more of Kevin O’Leary in Canada if Maxime Bernier wins.
In fact, we predict it will be at least 183 days per year.

Steven Blaney

By Asclepias – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Long before the election began, Steven Blaney earned his spot on this list when he introduced Bill C-51 while minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Better known as the Anti-Terrorism act, which passed into law under the Conservative Majority of Stephen Harper. This bill eliminates any illusion of privacy Canadian people may expect from their government in the name of national security. We see this law as a first step toward an authoritarian state. The provisions it grants CSIS and the depth of information that will be shared between agencies is quite frightening. The bill does not account for oversight into surveillance activities, while it does attempt to limit monitoring to those who are perceived threats, that is an unenforceable platitude.
It is nigh impossible to establish a person as a threat before they act, without some assessment. In the words of this law, that assessment is conducted through surveillance. A single assessment cannot determine someone’s perpetual innocence . People change, and those who appeared to be non threatening may one day become harmful. A single assessment probably will not identify those tendencies, and if they do it’s a probability rating. Which means that constant monitoring of all Canadians is required to obey the spirit and letter of the law.
Panoptic data collection coupled with information sharing between agencies enables cohesive profiling of all Canadians. This conditions present a potential abuse of power for anyone with access to the system. This is a scenario very similar to the one presented in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
We admin that all this sounds a little far fetched. It is a worst case scenario, which we wouldn’t arrive at overnight, but C-51 lays the groundwork and begins the data collection process. A potential leader of a nation should be aware of the implications of their actions, particularly those that impact every single resident. The fact that that the Conservative government and the bill sponsor ignored the advice of the government appointed Privacy Commissioner on this matter is troubling.
As part of his candidacy announcement, Mr. Blaney issued a promise to forbid religious face coverings, such as the Niqab, from being worn during Canadian citizen ceremonies. This is an issue that is partially credited with the Conservatives’ downfall in the the 2015 election. A tolerable leader, would learn from his mistakes. Instead Steven Blaney has doubled down on the rhetoric, and threatened to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause, if his motions are denied. The Notwithstanding Clause, allows a part of the country to temporarily override sections of the Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms. This bold statement lends weight to our assessment that Blaney will be an authoritarian leader.
Like Kellie Leitch, Steven is a big supporter of tougher screening of immigrants, and has pledged significant funding to Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP and Canadian Border Screening Agency. Steven’s definition of Canadian values align with Kellie Leitch’s, both have proposed a screening for Canadian values.
We actually see Steven Blaney as the candidate with the largest potential to harm this country. However, his poor poll performance and effective anonymity outside of Quebec, have us less concerned of his chances than the other candidates. Never the less, he is capable of inflicting a nightmare upon the country, from which we may never recover.
Steven Blaney should not be Leader of the Opposition, and definitely should not be Prime Minister.

Chris Alexander

By Harvey K - Judge's speech on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50874587

By Harvey K – Judge’s speech on Flickr CC BY 2.0,

Former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan and Immigration Minister is one of the more controversial candidates. As Immigration Minister he introduced Bill C-24, defining conditions for stripping Canadians of their citizenship. Specifically names Canadians who were either born out of the country, or born in the country and either have attained or eligible for citizenship from another country. The implication is that those eligible to have their citizenship revoked, could be treated as second class citizens, regardless of whether they are aware of their eligibility of foreign citizenship. The conditions of revocation are very specific, and unlikely to be affect most Canadians, but the precedent has been set that identifies some citizens as less Canadian than others, and potentially at risk to losing it.

Like Kellie Leitch, Chris Alexander has a narrow view of Canadian values. Together they announced the Barbaric Cultural Practices Tip Line in the 2015 election. As a followup, Alexander pledged to institute an RCMP Task force to enforce the Zero Tolerance of Barbaric Cultural practices act. He believes that the oath of citizenship should be with face uncovered, effectively barring the Niqab and other face coverings and asking Canadians to sell their religious beliefs to their new country. A revised statement from Alexander indicates that citizenship judges should have the power to make exceptions to this, but has not published guidelines or criteria to outline that process.

Each of these cases speak volumes about Alexander’s bias, together they provide context to the policies he enacted as Immigration Minister. Despite promising to reduce application wait times, in most cases, they increased. Prior to his tenure as Immigration Minister, temporary work permit applications would take roughly 2 weeks, by August 2105, the processing time was 4 months. That’s 8 times as long. Similar increases occurred for most other immigration streams. Spousal sponsorship processing times ballooned to over 2 years. Imagine 2 years without your husband, wife or best friend. Or watching them fall into depression, because they are unable to contribute to your marriage because they are ineligible to work for those 2 years. This can irreparably strain relationships.

The most concerning thing about Chris Alexander’s leadership bid is the reports that he was neither in control as Immigration Minister, nor acting on his own. The Globe and Mail reports that

Mr. Alexander struck many as a politician trying to find his way, or work his way up, rather than a minister in charge – someone, in the words of one observer, who takes orders rather than gives them.

The same article states that previous Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, appeared to be in command of revamping the Temporary Foreign Workers program.

If either of these allegations are an accurate reflection of Chris Alexander as a politician, we will always be wondering who will be behind him pulling the strings. If they aren’t true, than Alexander is really adjusting immigration policies to suit his bias, which has severely impacted Canadians as collateral damage.

Pierre Lemieux

By US Embassy Canada – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

In a race of 14 candidates, Pierre Lemieux does little to distance himself from the others. His policies are mostly inline with the other candidates. Repeal of any carbon tax, increased military spending, increased screening for immigrants and updating gun control laws to better support owners.

Where Pierre Lemieux sets himself apart from the other candidates is his identity is a social conservative, it is the cornerstone of his campaign. At each debate he has made that stance a point of pride, lamenting that there is no place for his socially conservative views in the current Conservative Party.

His voting history reflects that commitment. He has voted against same-sex marriage and assisted suicide. He is adamantly pro-life, and has promised to revisit the subject of abortion in the name of democracy. While he does have a point in that a democracy all issue should be open for debate,the supreme court has ruled that restricting abortions is unconstitutional. To follow through on this promise, the Constitution would have to be amended. Lemieux appears to be taking an alternate approach beginning the abortion discussion by objecting to “Gender Selective Abortions.” Which is a practice that has been documented by unbalanced birthrates among immigrants from certain cultures. There is no doubt that Lemieux will use this avenue to make a case for restricting abortions.

We do not agree with the practice of Gender Selective Abortion, but we believe that any culture that supports it will eventually diminish itself as a result of the population imbalance it creates.

Family, Democracy and Security are the pillars of Lemieux’s campaign. For most candidates, a belief Democracy does not needs to be explicitly stated. For Pierre Lemieux, a social conservative at odds with the country’s trajectory, Democracy is opportunity to put his beliefs in the spotlight. Many of the stances Lemieux takes on social issues appear to be rooted in an intolerance of beliefs held by others. He views legislation like C-16 (Transgendered rights Bill) and M-103 (Motion condemning Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination) as an affront to free speech and has promised to repeal C-16 if elected.

His claims that supporting political correctness impedes upon free speech are unfounded. It is still possible to have free speech on all topics in the era of political correctness. The language used to convey one’s point of view may change under the glare of political correctness, but that doesn’t require the message to change. Political correctness is just a warning that hate speech (no matter how free it is) will not be tolerated.

Lemieux hasn’t publicly stated why he is opposed to using gender neutral pronoun to describe a trans person if requested to. Nor has he detailed how exactly a motion to denounce systemic racism and religious discrimination impedes free speech. The rest of his social policies follow this pattern of declaring a position, without explaining that position or indicating how he will act on it.
While Lemieux presents himself of a man of integrity, we find his motives to be disingenuous. His social conservative beliefs drive his campaign, but he appears to be opposing hot button issues with weak arguments to build support for his currently unpopular beliefs.

Brad Trost

By Thomas Cumberbatch/Godzspeed Communications – Brad Trost Campaign, CC0, Link

Brad Trost is running to prove his social conservative values still resonate with the Canadian population. Values shared by Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister who believed that political parties should refrain from taking official positions on issues of conscience. Trost does not agree with this sentiment and is trying to bring them to forefront. It is an uphill battle for him. These values are not even shared by the Conservative Party of Canada. The party may be a big tent party appealing to conservatives of all stripes, but its constitution explicitly states the party believes in socially progressiveness. They are the focus of his campaign, to the point where he is nearly blind to every other issue. Trost does have a stance on some other issues, but again they are mostly social issues. Out of 13 issues listed on his campaign website, 8 of them are issues of conscious. The 5 that aren’t, are mostly consistent with the other candidates. He is for increased Military Spending, and reformed gun laws. Where he stands out is that he wants to privatize the CBC, not dismantle it, reform it or shut it down like some of the others.

He is also against any form of carbon tax. Not because he believes there are better ways to protect the environment, not because he thinks the provinces should manage it, but because he denies that climate change is the result of human activity. Trost is a geophysicist by trade, the exact kind of scientifically educated professional you would expect to support the theory that climate change is the result of human activity.

Trost’s campaign web site has content that could have come directly from a right wing media outlet like Sun News Network or Fox News. His policy documents are all open letters in direct opposition to a bill or policy enacted by the Canadian Government that would be more at home in the Op-Ed page than in as official campaign material. His claims are bombastic and carry an alarmist tone. Trost picks the same fights as Lemieux, but is not trying to hide his social conservative motives for doing so. In fact nearly every single one of Trost’s policy points are on social issues. The closest he gets to an economic position is that he is opposed to Carbon tax, but Trost’s opposition to the Carbon tax comes in part from his outright denial of man-made climate change.

Every criticism we’ve raised about Pierre Lemieux goes double for Brad Trost. Trost deserves some credit for his directness, you know exactly where he stands, and what his motivation is. His positions are intolerable in every sense of the word.

 

Rick Peterson

Peterson is another businessman with no political experience who appears to be in the race to help himself. His campaigns promises are few and far between. The few promises he has announced are:

  1. Eliminate Corporate Taxes
  2. Reduce individual income tax to a 15% flat fee
  3. Increase the GST to 9%
  4. “Smarter Immigration Policies.
  5. Increase Immigration targets by 50%

In essence, Mr. Peterson is promoting Trickle Down Economics. A system of policies that could potentially stimulate the economy by reducing the burden on business owners. With the hope that the increased gains are passed down to the workers. This has been tried and proposed many times and never seems to work. Currently Canada makes about 20% of it’s income from Corporate taxes. 11% from the GST (which is  5%). Doubling the GST income covers only half of the revenue lost from eliminating corporate taxes (assuming Canadians purchase the same pre-tax value of goods over a year. To cover the rest of the difference, Canadians would have to spend purchase 50 % (in pre-tax dollars) than they did the previous year. Mr. Peterson says give every one a flat tax rate of 15%. But that won’t impact Canadians in the lowest tax bracket who are making less than 45,000 each year, which is more than 50% of Canadians.

In short the math just doesn’t seem to add up, if anything his economic platform is tailored to greatly reduce the taxes owed by Peterson and his very rich friends without making up for the shortfall.

We find Rick Peterson to be lacking in terms of sound policies and experience.

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