Politics

Marc Dalton enters Conservative leadership race, Scott Aitchison officially launches campaign

Members of Parliament Marc Dalton and Scott Aitchison have officially launched their campaigns to become leader of the Conservative Party.

MPs are from B.C., Ontario and the 7th and 8th to get into the race

MPs Marc Dalton, left, and Scott Aitchison on Sunday launched campaigns for the Conservative Party leadership. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press, Scott Atchison/Facebook)

Two more Conservative MPs have launched bids to become the next leader of their party, as Marc Dalton announced his decision on social media and Scott Aitchison officially began his campaign Sunday.

Dalton, who is on his second term as the representative for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge in B.C., is the eighth person in the race. Dalton is also a former B.C. member of the Legislature (MLA) for the area he now represents federally.

After Aitchison announced his run earlier in the week, he held a launch event in Huntsville, Ont., part of the Parry Sound—Muskoka riding he has represented for two terms. Aitchison was also Huntsville mayor from 2014 to 2019.

In an announcement video posted to Twitter, Dalton said one of his first steps as leader would be to call for a national inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, including into what he described as the degree of political motivation in government health measures and coercive government actions.

In his announcement event in Huntsville, Aitchison said his campaign would focus on positivity and co-operation, and he would exemplify "inclusive, engaged and compassionate leadership."

"Canadians are sick and tired of the partisan gridlock and the ideological entrenchment. The antics you see in question period, that's not what Canadians want. They want leaders to actually get things done."

Aitchison was introduced and endorsed by Eric Mellilo, the Conservative representative for Kenora and the youngest MP.

The two Conservative MPs join a race that has already been characterized by some tense back-and-forths between leading candidates, with the campaign of Pierre Poilievre, considered the frontrunner, sparring with those of Patrick Brown and Jean Charest.

Another MP seeking the nomination, Leslyn Lewis, placed third in the last leadership race, in 2020, receiving over 20 per cent of first-choice votes.

Independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber and Saskatchewan businessman Joseph Bourgault round out the race.

Candice Bergen has served as the party's interim leader since Erin O'Toole was ousted weeks ago when a majority of his caucus voted against him in a leadership review. 

The leadership convention is set for Sept. 10.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story misidentified the two Conservative leadership candidates in a photo. The photo caption has since been updated.
    Mar 20, 2022 7:11 PM ET

now