Conservative Leadership “debate” held with two out of four candidates in Toronto

Two in, two out. 

Only half of the Conservative Leadership candidates attended a debate in Toronto at the Sheraton Hotel, hosted by The Independent Press Gallery of Canada (IPG) this evening. 

Those candidates were Derek Sloan and Erin O’Toole. 

What was designated to be a debate was turned into a one-on-one interview between Andrew Lawton of True North Centre with each candidate present. 

Conservative Leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis did not attend tonights debate in Toronto, Ont., due to an illness. Peter MacKay followed Lewis in not attending after requesting that the event be postponed by saying in a statement,

 “To be fair to all, I will not participate in a debate where she is not present.”

He continued in his statement saying that he hopes the IPG would reschedule, but they said it was too close to the voting deadline and was very late notice to be able to do so.

*Note — MacKay lives in Toronto within close proximity to the event tonight on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.*

Each candidate received 35 minutes in interview with Lawton and 10 minutes proceeding the event in a media scrum to answer questions from IPG members. Mainstream media was invited to attend the event, but none were in attendance. 

The questions were much more direct and to the point than perhaps the candidates were used to — but both seemed to take it in stride and answered most questions fairly direct.

Despite the lack of attendance from candidates, the event was a new beginning for a more fair and equal representation of media organizations in Canada. 

Diverge Media will be releasing the full interviews and scrums to YouTube as well as a more detailed story to follow.

We would also like to personally thank Andrew Lawton and Candice Malcolm for allowing the voices of independent media to be heard and ask the tough questions.