Finley hopes leadership race will renew Conservative party

News Apr 04, 2016 by J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Norfolk News

Diane Finley is committed to helping the Conservative Party of Canada reclaim top spot in the national political arena. But the Haldimand-Norfolk MP isn’t looking to replace Stephen Harper as the next party leader.

“In fact, I’m sitting on the Leadership Election Organizing Committee, which precludes me from running,” Finley told Norfolk News. “We want to make sure that it’s a fair, open and transparent election, and that the rules are clear, so that quality candidates know what to expect.”

Finley, who ran unsuccessfully to be the party’s interim leader after Harper stepped down in the fall, said the party is not in as bad a shape as some pundits would contend.

“I’ve been hearing from Conservatives right across the country, and they recognize that the party is still quite strong,” she said.

“A lot of Canadians have told us they really like what we’ve done. The like how we managed the economy, they like our values, but they just thought it was time for a change. And that happens.”

The Conservatives received 31.89 per cent of the popular vote in October’s federal election, which translated to 99 seats (a count that today stands at 98 after the sudden death of Conservative MP Jim Hillyer in Ottawa on March 23).

“So we do have a strong base of support for our values, and people I’ve been hearing from are excited to start working together and rebuilding things so we can win again in 2019 and try to stop this deficit spending habit,” Finley said.

The former cabinet minister was the only current MP appointed to the party’s 20-member organizing committee in December. Finley has promised to be neutral during the campaign, saying she will instead focus on ensuring that the race to succeed Harper will be competitive and above board.

“There are more rules that have to be determined, such as how the balloting will take place,” Finley said. “There’s a still a lot of work to be done, but we want to say that this will be a fair, open race.”

The election isn’t until May 27, 2017, and candidates have until Feb. 27 of that year to register.

But the Parliament Hill rumour mill is already in full swing, with former federal ministers Peter MacKay, Tony Clement, Lisa Raitt and Maxime Bernier among the politicians expected to mount a campaign.

TV personality Kevin O’Leary, who has told media he would consider running as a Conservative or Liberal, would make for a more unorthodox candidate.

The Conservative organizing committee has so far decided that candidates will have a $5 million spending limit and must put up $100,000 to register, half of which is a refundable “compliance fee.”

By contrast, the last Liberal leadership campaign in 2013 had a spending limit of $950,000, though those vying to run the party in 2006 could spend up to $3.6 million.

Finley is optimistic that the Conservative leadership contest will bring fresh energy to the party.

“I think that we’ll get some good quality candidates that have some new ideas as to where the party needs to go. A different management style always makes a difference, as we already see with the new interim leader (Alberta MP Rona Ambrose),” she said.

“It’s exciting times, where we’re looking at a refreshing and a renewal.”

Finley hopes leadership race will renew Conservative party

Haldimand-Norfolk MP part of committee organizing 2017 election

News Apr 04, 2016 by J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Norfolk News

Diane Finley is committed to helping the Conservative Party of Canada reclaim top spot in the national political arena. But the Haldimand-Norfolk MP isn’t looking to replace Stephen Harper as the next party leader.

“In fact, I’m sitting on the Leadership Election Organizing Committee, which precludes me from running,” Finley told Norfolk News. “We want to make sure that it’s a fair, open and transparent election, and that the rules are clear, so that quality candidates know what to expect.”

Finley, who ran unsuccessfully to be the party’s interim leader after Harper stepped down in the fall, said the party is not in as bad a shape as some pundits would contend.

“I’ve been hearing from Conservatives right across the country, and they recognize that the party is still quite strong,” she said.

“A lot of Canadians have told us they really like what we’ve done. The like how we managed the economy, they like our values, but they just thought it was time for a change. And that happens.”

The Conservatives received 31.89 per cent of the popular vote in October’s federal election, which translated to 99 seats (a count that today stands at 98 after the sudden death of Conservative MP Jim Hillyer in Ottawa on March 23).

“So we do have a strong base of support for our values, and people I’ve been hearing from are excited to start working together and rebuilding things so we can win again in 2019 and try to stop this deficit spending habit,” Finley said.

The former cabinet minister was the only current MP appointed to the party’s 20-member organizing committee in December. Finley has promised to be neutral during the campaign, saying she will instead focus on ensuring that the race to succeed Harper will be competitive and above board.

“There are more rules that have to be determined, such as how the balloting will take place,” Finley said. “There’s a still a lot of work to be done, but we want to say that this will be a fair, open race.”

The election isn’t until May 27, 2017, and candidates have until Feb. 27 of that year to register.

But the Parliament Hill rumour mill is already in full swing, with former federal ministers Peter MacKay, Tony Clement, Lisa Raitt and Maxime Bernier among the politicians expected to mount a campaign.

TV personality Kevin O’Leary, who has told media he would consider running as a Conservative or Liberal, would make for a more unorthodox candidate.

The Conservative organizing committee has so far decided that candidates will have a $5 million spending limit and must put up $100,000 to register, half of which is a refundable “compliance fee.”

By contrast, the last Liberal leadership campaign in 2013 had a spending limit of $950,000, though those vying to run the party in 2006 could spend up to $3.6 million.

Finley is optimistic that the Conservative leadership contest will bring fresh energy to the party.

“I think that we’ll get some good quality candidates that have some new ideas as to where the party needs to go. A different management style always makes a difference, as we already see with the new interim leader (Alberta MP Rona Ambrose),” she said.

“It’s exciting times, where we’re looking at a refreshing and a renewal.”

Finley hopes leadership race will renew Conservative party

Haldimand-Norfolk MP part of committee organizing 2017 election

News Apr 04, 2016 by J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Norfolk News

Diane Finley is committed to helping the Conservative Party of Canada reclaim top spot in the national political arena. But the Haldimand-Norfolk MP isn’t looking to replace Stephen Harper as the next party leader.

“In fact, I’m sitting on the Leadership Election Organizing Committee, which precludes me from running,” Finley told Norfolk News. “We want to make sure that it’s a fair, open and transparent election, and that the rules are clear, so that quality candidates know what to expect.”

Finley, who ran unsuccessfully to be the party’s interim leader after Harper stepped down in the fall, said the party is not in as bad a shape as some pundits would contend.

“I’ve been hearing from Conservatives right across the country, and they recognize that the party is still quite strong,” she said.

“A lot of Canadians have told us they really like what we’ve done. The like how we managed the economy, they like our values, but they just thought it was time for a change. And that happens.”

The Conservatives received 31.89 per cent of the popular vote in October’s federal election, which translated to 99 seats (a count that today stands at 98 after the sudden death of Conservative MP Jim Hillyer in Ottawa on March 23).

“So we do have a strong base of support for our values, and people I’ve been hearing from are excited to start working together and rebuilding things so we can win again in 2019 and try to stop this deficit spending habit,” Finley said.

The former cabinet minister was the only current MP appointed to the party’s 20-member organizing committee in December. Finley has promised to be neutral during the campaign, saying she will instead focus on ensuring that the race to succeed Harper will be competitive and above board.

“There are more rules that have to be determined, such as how the balloting will take place,” Finley said. “There’s a still a lot of work to be done, but we want to say that this will be a fair, open race.”

The election isn’t until May 27, 2017, and candidates have until Feb. 27 of that year to register.

But the Parliament Hill rumour mill is already in full swing, with former federal ministers Peter MacKay, Tony Clement, Lisa Raitt and Maxime Bernier among the politicians expected to mount a campaign.

TV personality Kevin O’Leary, who has told media he would consider running as a Conservative or Liberal, would make for a more unorthodox candidate.

The Conservative organizing committee has so far decided that candidates will have a $5 million spending limit and must put up $100,000 to register, half of which is a refundable “compliance fee.”

By contrast, the last Liberal leadership campaign in 2013 had a spending limit of $950,000, though those vying to run the party in 2006 could spend up to $3.6 million.

Finley is optimistic that the Conservative leadership contest will bring fresh energy to the party.

“I think that we’ll get some good quality candidates that have some new ideas as to where the party needs to go. A different management style always makes a difference, as we already see with the new interim leader (Alberta MP Rona Ambrose),” she said.

“It’s exciting times, where we’re looking at a refreshing and a renewal.”