2023 National Convention

The 2023 Conservative Party Policy and Constitution convention is being held in Quebec City September 7th through 9th.  The convention has its own website which can be found at : https://cpc23.ca/  This is the first non-virtual convention since Halifax in 2018 – a five year gap.  The convention aims to allow the grass roots members to put forward their ideas on where the party should be going.  There is a cross country process through a website called “Ideas Lab” which allows every riding to put forward their ideas and allows anyone anywhere to see what is being proposed.  Usually it is taken down right after convention, but you can look up information on it at “Conservative Party of Canada Ideas Lab”; as I write it is at:  https://ideas-lab.ca/

Your Foothills Conservative EDA (Electoral District Association, that is our riding represented by our MP) is sending a strong group of delegates; 11 voting delegates, one observer delegate and our MP John Barlow.  Your  support and contributions allow us to send such a strong group.  At the convention each voting delegate has one vote, so the more delegates, the more influence Foothills has on the outcome.

There will be opportunity for the delegates to see some of the sights in the very old parts (by our standards) of this historic city, but there will be an intense amount of work on the Friday and Saturday with sessions on the party constitution and policy.  Work starts at 9 AM and goes through to 4:30 PM both days. Space permitting, each EDA gets its own table where delegates can discuss how we want to vote.

Foothills Policy and Constitution Committee, including Karen Spencer, Debra Janzen, Greg Steed and myself, with input from the entire Foothills Board, have been working on proposals to put before this convention throughout the past year.  In close cooperation with representatives from other ridings, through numerous Zoom meetings, Foothills has been able to place two party constitution changes and one environment policy proposal on the agenda for the convention. Our environment proposal is a statement on mitigating climate change through technology, not taxes. It is part of a set being coordinated  by a BC EDA.  Our constitution proposals are focused on making clear the circumstances under which the members can petition for a party referendum on any topic (such as a leadership vote) and on giving our National Council the authority to determine the party’s annual budget.  Both are about grassroots empowerment.

Getting there required cooperation with other ridings to get co-sponsors, and later sufficient votes from across the country.  Your EDA also cosponsored a considerable number of other proposals which obtained sufficient votes to be put on the convention agenda.  We hope our ideas will get to be put to a vote. We hope some good ideas will get passed which will move the party forward.

Training sessions, elections for members of National Council, a report on Conservative Fund (the guys who control the party’s money) some speeches and some hospitality suites round out the events.

Foothills had some significant successes at the last virtual convention (2019). We are hoping we can repeat this time.

Peter Fermor