Scott Lamb, the outgoing Conservative social gathering president, instructed Conservatives assembled for a coverage convention as we speak that they should unite to fend off their principal foes — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals — in an election that may very well be referred to as at any time.
Lamb stated that whereas there will probably be coverage disputes at this week’s conference — social conservatives have promised to push anti-abortion constitutional amendments, for instance — inner squabbles cannot be allowed to distract the social gathering from the bigger purpose of profitable over voters and forming a authorities.
“While we have vigorous and passionate debate in our party about policy and governance at conventions, we must come together as never before to show the country we are ready to govern,” he stated in a speech to the social gathering convention.
“We need to show we are united, focused on the concerns of all Canadians across the country,” he added, telling members that an election marketing campaign may very well be simply “weeks away.”
Lamb stated Tories must be pleased with holding Trudeau and his crew to a minority authorities within the 2019 election marketing campaign — the primary time a majority authorities had did not win a second majority time period in a long time — and assembling report membership numbers final yr.
Scott Gibson, the chief monetary officer, additionally briefed delegates assembled for the conference on the monetary well being of the social gathering.
He stated the pandemic “cast significant doubt” on the social gathering’s capacity to boost cash, as a result of conventional in-person occasions being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. But by yr’s finish, Gibson stated, the social gathering had exceeded its fundraising targets “despite how far we fell behind during the darkest days of the pandemic.”
Money within the financial institution
The social gathering’s accountant stated fundraising within the fourth quarter of 2020 — when members donated about $7.7 million — was the perfect fourth quarter efficiency ever reported within the social gathering’s historical past. The Liberals raised $6.5 million over the identical interval.
After some belt-tightening at social gathering headquarters — ending discretionary spending and retaining staffing ranges at pre-pandemic ranges — the social gathering ended the yr with a better surplus than deliberate, Gibson stated.
The social gathering already has paid off its 2019 election financial institution mortgage and has stashed away funds in an election struggle chest.
“We’re ready with the funding in place for a national campaign if and when the Liberals call an election,” Gibson stated, promising social gathering members that the Conservatives are on “extremely solid ground financially.”
In a video message, former prime minister Stephen Harper, the social gathering’s first chief after the Canadian Alliance-Progressive Conservative merger in 2003, praised Irving Gerstein, a former senator and self-described “bag man,” for securing the social gathering’s monetary future.
“When he retired last year, Irving turned over the fund for enough cash on hand to fight the election tomorrow, without taking a dime for his efforts,” Harper stated of the previous Conservative Fund chair.