This article concerns the Conservative Party of Canada that was founded in 2003. For the pre-1942 party by the same name, see Conservative Party of Canada (historic).
Conservative Party of Canada
Current Leader:John Lynch-Staunton (interim)
Founded:December 7, 2003
Headquarters:Suite 1720
130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5G4
Colours:Blue, Red
Political ideology:conservative
The Conservative Party of Canada was announced on October 16, 2003 as the name of a new Canadian political party, to be formed by a merger of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance party. The leadership of both parties agreed upon the merger and it was ratified by the membership of the Alliance on December 5 by a margin of 96% to 4%, and by delegates of the PC Party on December 6 by a margin of 90% to 10%.

The merger was driven by the desire to present an effective right-wing opposition to the Liberal Party of Canada that would draw support from all parts of Canada, and would not split the right-wing vote. Existing members of the parties will have to rejoin.

Many believe this is the culmination of the Canadian "Unite the Right" movement.

Table of contents
1 Controversy over formation
2 Party leaders
3 External links

Controversy over formation

The merger process remains fraught with complications, however. David Orchard had a written agreement from Peter MacKay at the Conservative leadership convention for this very thing not to happen, [1] and is leading a Tory faction fighting the legality of the proposed merger. They say the Party constitution has no provision for dissolution, especially regarding assets. A court injuction seeking to prevent dissolution, however, was dismissed on December 5.

On November 27, critics of the merger were given additional ammunition when Larry Spencer of the Canadian Alliance made public statements stating his desire to recriminalize homosexual behaviour in Canada to combat what he claimed was a conspiracy by the homosexual community to infiltrate social institutions to recruit children into the "homosexual lifestyle". He was quickly denounced by numerous public figures including his own party leader, Stephen Harper, who also made him resign from his position as Family Issues Critic in the House of Commons with an apology.

Some members of PC party stated that, in light of that outburst, they are more reluctant to go through with the merger, since Spencer could simply be more outspoken than other Alliance members and that they did not want to be lumped in with a party seen as a bastion for bigots.

On December 8, 2003, the Conservative Party of Canada was officially registered with Elections Canada. A vote is scheduled for March 21, 2004 to select the new leader. Until the leadership convention, Senator John Lynch-Staunton has been named as the party's interim leader.

However, on the same day, three Progressive Conservative MPs indicated that they will not join the new Conservative Party caucus. Joe Clark, André Bachand and John Herron have all indicated that they could not agree to be associated with the new party and its views, and that they would serve out their terms as independents, keeping the Progressive Conservative designation.

Two days later, PC MP Scott Brison crossed the floor to the Liberals, announcing that he also was not willing to remain a member of the newly merged Conservative Party. Soon after, he was made a member of Prime Minister Paul Martin's cabinet.

Another MP, Rick Borotsik, is said to be wavering in his support.

A former Alliance MP's Kieth Martin also left the party on January 14 and will run as a Liberal in the next election.

On January 9, 2004 the interim joint council of the party appointed the following caucus officers:

In an move which apparently has been taken to dismiss the optics that this merger has largely been a take over by the Alliance, the positions have been split evenly between former Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance MPs though Alliance members out number PCs 6 to 1.

Party leaders

External links