Ontario Progressive Conservatives to announce new leader on March 10
Party seeking new leader after Patrick Brown stepped down following sexual misconduct allegations
The executive of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party will announce a new leader on March 10, president Jag Badwal said late Wednesday.
"I am excited to announce that the Ontario PC Party has a path forward to selecting our next leader and future premier," Badwal said in a statement.
"The new leader will have a united party behind them ready to fight and win the upcoming election," Badwal added.
The party is seeking a new leader after Patrick Brown stepped down following allegations of sexual misconduct from two women. Brown has denied the allegations.
The party president said there will be a $750,000 spending limit for the leadership race.
Candidates have to pay $100,000: a $75,000 registration fee, plus a $25,000 deposit. It's another $25,000 if candidates want access to the party membership list.
The party is also planning at least one candidates' debate, but no date has been determined.
Following a meeting of the party's executive committee, Badwal said "the leadership race is on."
He explained that the main reason for Wednesday's meeting was to adopt the rules for the race set by the committee leader.
"Most of the voting that will be happening will be electronic voting," Badwal said, noting that it's the best option for the party due to the shortage of time.
The last day of voting will be March 8.
'Major step forward'
Meanwhile, the chair of the leadership election organization committee (LEOC), Hartley Lefton, said this is "a major step forward" in selecting a new leader to unite the Ontario PCs as they prepare for the 2018 election.
Lefton said the race will see party members from every region of the province able to vote.
"This open, democratic process will not only allow for greater engagement of our members, but will position us strongly in the months to come so that together the party can bring about change that works for Ontario families," Lefton said.