Islanders can help determine next Conservative Party leader: Moore

Even though the Liberal Party of Canada swept all 32 Atlantic Canada seats in the 2015 federal election, Islanders will play a role in how becomes the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Atlantic Canada’s ridings amount to about 10 per cent of that vote, says former MP Rob Moore

Rob Moore, former Conservative Party MP and current party critic for Atlantic Canada and ACOA, says that Islanders have a role in who becomes the party's next leader. (CBC)

Even though the Liberal Party of Canada swept all 32 Atlantic Canada seats in the 2015 federal election, Rob Moore says Islanders will play a role in who becomes the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Interest across Canada in leadership race

Moore, the Conservative Party critic for Atlantic Canada and ACOA as well as a former Conservative MP, said that there is interest across Canada in the party's leadership race. 

Moore said that the Liberal Party is taking Atlantic Canada "for granted" with "the people or the issues." Some of the issues, he added, were the Supreme Court of Canada appointment process and having an ACOA minister from Ontario.

Moore also noted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn't visit P.E.I. last week during his cross Canada tour.

"It hasn't gone off very well, as of yet," Moore said.

"We note that it didn't make a stop here in Prince Edward Island, and people took note of that."

Equal leadership vote

In terms of having a say in who becomes the next Conservative Party leader, Moore noted that ridings in Canada have an equal leadership vote, and Atlantic Canada's ridings amount to about 10 per cent of that vote.

"You can't just pay attention to your particular region, or to the big cities, you have to get into the rural areas, you have to get into the smaller provinces, smaller ridings because every riding is worth the same amount to you. So I think it encourages the candidates to have a national campaign," Moore said.

Interest in the Conservative Party leadership race was renewed this week with Kevin O'Leary announcing his intention to run. So far, eight of the 14 candidates have visited P.E.I. to build support, according to a spokesperson for the Charlottetown Conservative Riding Association.

The proposed carbon tax, employment and the economy are some of the issues the candidates are likely to raise in Atlantic Canada, said Moore.

The party's leadership convention is scheduled for May. 

With files from Kerry Campbell