Conservative Party is Ignoring COVID-19 Concerns for Fundraising

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on March 19, 2020

Parts of the country are officially in states of emergency, and most public gatherings have been shut down. However, despite multiple calls to postpone the CPC leadership race, it still remains one of the country’s few ongoing public events.

Now, one of the contestants, Marilyn Gladu, has added her name to the growing course to amend the leadership race (saying, “I am disappointed in the apparent decision of the Conservative Party of Canada’s Leadership Election Organization Committee (LEOC) with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their refusal to amend the 2020 leadership election schedule to address the new reality of the pandemic: that the kind of public gatherings needed to obtain signatures and funding are all cancelled until the end of March at the earliest.”

She expands on her reasoning in her full statement here

She is not the first member of the Conservative party to be concerned about running a race in the middle of a global pandemic. Fort McMurray MP David Yurdiga brought up both the safety concerns and the practical concerns of fundraising in a state of emergency. 

The top two candidates, Erin O’Toole and Peter MacKay, both of whom have already hit the financial target, have already suspended their campaigns. Clearly, they recognize that it is the right thing to do. 


We are now one week away from the March 25th deadline for the candidates to gather the $300 000 needed to qualify. That is an incredibly high number to hit, especially when the maximum donation from a single person is $1,625. 

This puts candidates in the unethical position of needing to be out in public to solicit donations, putting themselves, their supporters and by extension the rest of the country at greater risk of spreading COVID-19.

There is also the other matter of the fact that this is a terrible look for the CPC. In a time of a national emergency, where most people are temporarily out of work, the candidates are forced to ask for money. 

This makes for some very bad optics, as it says to the majority of CPC voters, who are middle class people, that the political process is not meant for them. Since grassroots fundraising is nearly impossible right now.

For these reasons and many others, the grassroots of the Conservative party have already started a petition to suspend the leadership race. So far, Lisa Raitt and the rest of the LEOC have yet to acknowledge these very serious concerns from the Conservative base. 

Lisa Raitt had deflected the health concerns by stating that ballots are mailed-in without acknowledging the issue surrounding fundraising to get on that ballot.

Leadership candidate Rudy Husny pointed out to Raitt that many candidates relied heavily on in-person contact for fundraising, but has yet to get a response back.

The Conservative party already has a PR problem in the mainstream media, there is no need to add fuel to the fire by seeming unconcerned for public safety. 

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

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