April unemployment rate drops to new low as economy adds 1,000 jobs in April: StatCan

By Stephanie Taylor in Ottawa

Acting Federal Conservative Leader Candice Bergen said the party would not lure disgruntled Liberals into the fold by being a “light Liberal” version of their main rivals.

“We’re not giving them a place in our party by going liberal-light,” she said on Friday. “We welcome them into our conservative home by being consistently conservative.”

She made the statement in a video speech shown to a room of Conservative movement members and party stalwarts gathered in downtown Ottawa for a three-day conference.

His remarks come the day after five of the six candidates vying for former leader Erin O’Toole’s job wrestled on stage, discussing each other’s political past and the level of support they expressed for the “Freedom Convoy”, as well as the global cause of the fight against vaccine and mask mandates.

Bergen, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, focused much of her speech on the importance of the party being proud of — and sticking to — its conservative values.

His path to his current role was paved, in part, by concerns from Tory MPs and party members about O’Toole’s efforts to build support for the party. It has moderated some of its policies and its brand – an approach that critics have slammed as trying to be “liberal-lite”.

Months of frustration among caucus members culminated when a third of Tory MPs forced a vote on his leadership, where a majority chose to dump him.

Bergen told the Friday crowd that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had moved the Liberals further to the political left, leaving some older supporters looking for another option.

She said the Conservative Party can be a new home for them, but only by being truly Conservative.

The interim leader also encouraged leadership candidates to heed advice provided in a letter to all campaigns by former Reform Party of Canada leader Preston Manning for candidates to avoid personal attacks.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 6, 2022.

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