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‘I’m very worried’: Former Tory Senate leader on Poilievre, convoys and the party’s future

A former Conservative Senate leader is expressing concern about the direction Pierre Poilievre is taking the party, worrying the Tories might be reaching the point of “fracturing beyond repair.”

In an exclusive interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Marjory LeBreton said Conservative leadership candidates jumping on the “grievance brigade” is doing a “disservice” not only to the party but to the country.

Read more: ‘You have allies’: Tory MPs welcome convoy figures warning of deep divides in Canada

On a more existential point for Conservatives, LeBreton – who served as an advisor to Stephen Harper and later his point person in the Senate – said she fears the relatively young coalition may not be able to hold together.

“I’m very, very worried … about what’s happening to the party and what’s happening during this leadership debate,” LeBreton said.

“I really fear that the great accommodation that was reached between (then Canadian Alliance Leader) Stephen Harper and (former Progressive Conservative Leader) Peter MacKay in the fall of 2003 is fracturing beyond repair.”

LeBreton was explicit about what caused her the most concern: members of the party embracing the convoy protests that paralyzed downtown Ottawa for weeks and blocked multiple Canada-U.S. border crossings.

The former senator said “law and order” is a “cornerstone” of modern Conservative politics.

“And law and order is law and order. And illegal blockades are illegal blockades, whether they’re at the border crossing, a pipeline, a railway line, they’re illegal,” LeBreton said, referencing Conservative opposition to Indigenous rail blockades in early 2020.

Conservatives can’t say blockading the City of Ottawa is “okay, but it’s not okay for

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Mercedes Stephenson Pierre Poilievre Conservative Party

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COVID-19 vaccine rules, equalization ‘derailed’ support for Kenney: Smith
Jason Kenney‘s imposition of COVID-19 vaccine mandate and other public health measures, along with the province’s desire for equalization changes, are what “derailed” his leadership, suggests leadership rival Danielle Smith.In an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Smith said Kenney’s decisions to put in place public health measures as COVID-19 spiked were a miscalculation that led younger voters who normally vote conservative to draw “a line in the sand.”“That brought out a lot of mums and dads in their 30s and 40s who said, ‘We’ve got to do something different here.’ And I think the premier maybe miscalculated when he brought in vaccine passports after saying he wasn’t going to,” Smith said.She added she believes many Albertans feel he also hasn’t taken the referendum to push for changes to the equalization formula seriously enough. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney intends to step down as UCP leader after narrow leadership win When asked about Kenney’s decision to bring in vaccine mandates, which public health experts had recommended at the time, she claimed: “We saw very early on the vaccination wears off” and that people “could still get and transmit, get very sick even if you were vaccinated.”That is inaccurate.The variant currently circulating is Omicron, and a subvariant of that known as BA.2.
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