National Newswatch

The Conservative Party of Canada will wait until Sept. 10 to pick a new leader, providing more time for prospective candidates to mount their campaigns, including former Quebec premier Jean Charest.

Charest met with about 40 MPs and senators Wednesday evening before the rules of the contest were announced several hours later. He said he was waiting to see the rules before making a decision.

“You’ll remember that two years ago I came to the conclusion that the campaign would not have been viable because there wasn’t enough time for me to go out there to introduce myself to the membership and to recruit new members, so that’ll be part of what we’ll be looking for is are the rules viable,” he said.

“Do they allow us to do a real campaign and get ourselves known.”

Among the decisions Conservatives on the committee had to make was opting for a shorter contest or a longer one — a decision many said would determine how many candidates would decide to enter the race, such as those not currently serving as MPs and who may run on single issues.

So far, the only candidate that has declared himself to be running is Pierre Poilievre, a well-known Ottawa-area MP with a reputation for fiery performances in Parliament.

As Charest met behind closed doors and fielded quest

The Canadian Press
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