A new conservative group wants to rally more moderate voters

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A new conservative group wants to rally more moderate voters

New Brunswick Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dominic Cardy (archives).

A new think tank wants to “give a voice” to more moderate conservative activists in Canada. New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy, who is at the heart of this movement, says many citizens are “tired of being dominated by extremists left and right.”

The first conference of the Center Ice Conservatives will be held in Edmonton, Alberta on August 11.

Former British Columbia Liberal Premier Christy Clark will deliver the keynote address. Dominic Cardy will attend the event as chair of the group's advisory board, alongside well-known conservatives such as ex-senator Marjory LeBreton, ex-federal cabinet minister Peter Kent and columnist Tasha Kheiriddin.

Center Ice Conservatives is not a political party, but rather a group that wants to stir up ideas. He says he rejects the wokism of the left, just like the populism of the right. Its members favor a conservative approach on the tax front, but progressive on social issues.

We are here to say that the vast majority of the Canadian population who are in the center, between the left and the right, we are here to defend them, to give them a voice, says Dominic Cardy .

“We really need to defend the center, defend what we have and give a plan to improve the things that are not working in Canada . »

— Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick Minister of Education

The group is obviously following closely the leadership race of the Conservative Party of Canada, whose winner will be known on September 10.

For Dominic Cardy, who was leader of the New Democratic Party of New Brunswick before making the leap to the Progressive Conservative Party, the creation of this group had been necessary for a few years. He believes that the country must have a plan to manage the current economic crisis and to defend the acquired rights and the social programs of the country.

We need to return power to the people, to make their own decisions, but you cannot use the power of the state to take away people's acquired rights. And sometimes, that's what we hear from activists around the Conservative Party and also from other parties. And that is what is unacceptable, he says.

For Frédéric Boily, professor of political science at the University of Alberta, the irruption of this group in the public sphere, at the time of the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, is not a coincidence. .

According to him, the discussions around a possible split within the party, which take place during practically all leadership races, are conducive to this kind of thoughts.

“It is part of an attempt to form a centrist coalition, which would allow a conservative movement to unite, when we seem to be heading towards disunity.

— Frédéric Boily, political scientist

He believes that people like Christy Clark and Dominic Cardy, who will take part in the August 11 event, give intellectual credibility to the band. However, for political credibility we are not there yet, he believes.

It is possible that Center Ice Conservatives will one day turn into a political party – or that it will lay the foundations for the creation of a new party – but we are still far from that, believes Frédéric Boily.

Professor of political science at the University of Alberta Frédéric Boily (archives)

We can transform this influence into political influence and therefore take the path of the political party, but it is not obvious that we will necessarily reach this stage, he specifies.

We will have to see if there is a real political appetite for a more central party. There must be political conditions that allow this passage.

The results of the leadership race will be announced in Ottawa on September 10.

With information from the program La matinale and Nicolas Steinbach.

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