Conservative Party first to nominate a full slate of candidates ahead of fall election

The Conservative Party became the first among the major parties Tuesday to nominate a full slate of 338 candidates ahead of the fall federal election.

The Liberal Party has so far nominated 276 candidates, or 80 per cent of full slate

George Canyon, left, Juno-award winning country musician; Sylvie Fréchette, an Olympic medallist in synchronized swimming; and tattoo artist Claire Rattée. They're all running for the Conservative Party of Canada in the fall election. (Canadian Press/Conservative Party of Canada)

The Conservative Party became the first among the major parties Tuesday to nominate a full slate of 338 candidates ahead of the fall federal election.

The party, which is also flush with cash after several successful fundraising quarters, is well-positioned to fight the next campaign — which must be called at some point over the next two weeks, according to Canada's fixed-date election law.

The party already has started airing television ads featuring Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and has secured a plane to ferry him across the country over the next two months as he tries to vault the party from opposition to government.

The party, which typically runs a large number of small business owners and farmers, also has selected as candidates a former Olympian, a former CFL playera junior hockey champion, a Juno-award winning country music star, journalists, former Canadian Armed Forces personnel, stay-at home parents and the proprietor of a tattoo parlour, among others.

The federal Conservatives also are running five former provincial MLAs, including three from Nova Scotia, and a fair number of former Conservative MPs looking to return to Parliament Hill.

The party is fielding a larger number of women candidates in this election campaign than ever before. There will be 105 women running to represent the Conservative Party in the House of Commons — well above the party's past record of 68 women in 2011.

"This team of candidates is among the most professionally and personally diverse group we've ever put forward," Scheer said in a statement. "This election will be about choosing a prime minister and a government that will help you get ahead, and all 338 of our candidates represent that choice well. Canadians are looking for a team with a plan that lives within our means and puts more money in your pocket."

The party says it has also attracted candidates from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous Canadians, LGBTQ+ Canadians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jewish Canadians, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and new Canadians, including some who immigrated in the 2000s.

The Liberal Party has so far nominated 276 candidates, or 80 per cent of the slate.

A spokesperson for the party said the remaining nomination meetings will be "moving forward very soon." So far, 52 per cent of the party's new candidates are women.

"Team Trudeau 2019 candidates include veterans, teachers, Indigenous leaders, LGBTQ2 advocates, entrepreneurs, scientists, first responders, Olympians and Paralympians, experienced Parliamentarians and more — all working hard to build a better future for their communities," Braeden Caley said.

"Canadians will be making an important choice in this election. While Conservatives are focused on going backward with cuts to vital services that families rely on, Liberals are focused on moving forward with our positive plan to invest in the middle class," he said.

A spokesperson for the NDP said Tuesday it has so far nominated 180 candidates and is scheduling 122 nomination meetings over the next few weeks to nominate other candidates who have been vetted and approved by the party.

The candidate nomination deadline is Sept. 30. The election must be held on or before Oct. 21.

About the Author

John Paul Tasker

Parliamentary Bureau

John Paul (J.P.) Tasker is a reporter in the CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He can be reached at john.tasker@cbc.ca.

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