Five conservative leaders who are hopeful will battle in Ottawa tonight. in debate

OTTAWA – Five of the six candidates vying for Tory leadership will take the stage tonight for a debate in front of a hall of conservative believers.

It is not an official leadership debate, but is hosted by the Canada Strong and Free Network as part of an annual conference in Ottawa.

The organization promotes conservative ideas and was founded by Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party of Canada – a forerunner of the Canadian Alliance, which merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the current Conservative Party.

Pieces of that history may be on display during tonight’s debate, as the race has already seen accusations flying over whether some candidates are truly ‘conservative’.

Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis, Roman Baber, Scott Aitchison and Jean Charest appear on stage.

Patrick Brown will not attend, as his campaign says he is selling memberships before the June 3 deadline, when supporters must be members in order to vote in the contest.

Next week, all six candidates must participate in the first of two official debates the party is organizing.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 5, 2022.

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