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Conservative leadership convention coincides with Pride weekend in Toronto

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Conservative leadership convention coincides with Pride weekend in Toronto

TORONTO –
When conservative members gather in Toronto to elect their next leader on June 27, thousands of members of the LGBT community will celebrate the annual Pride Festival across the city – a fact that organizers say was not done on purpose.

On Friday, conservative MP Michelle Rempel reacted to the ad by posting on Twitter: "There is something else that usually happens in Toronto that weekend …", followed by rainbow hearts and a wink-like emoji.

Lisa Raitt, co-chair of the Conservative Party's race leadership organizing committee, told CTV News Channel that the Pride event "was not part of the decision-making process" and that the organizers wanted to vote "as soon as possible" . "

"In Toronto, the entire month of June is Pride, so if we are going to have an election in June, it will be part of that process anyway," Raitt, political commentator for CTV News, said on Saturday.

Pride Month lasts throughout June, but the Toronto Pride Festival is scheduled for the weekend of June 26-28. Pride organizers say more than 1 million people attend annual celebrations, including the parade.

Last month, Andrew Scheer announced that he was leaving the position of party leader. Scheer has been criticized in the past for not participating in the Pride charts and for his lack of clarity about how he positions himself on issues such as same-sex marriage.

“We knew we wanted to have this convention in Toronto. We thought that would be important, ”she said.

Conservatives fought to win voters in and around Toronto in the 2019 elections, with the Liberals winning the vast majority of seats.

Other considerations, such as the availability of hotel rooms, were factors in choosing the date, Raitt said.

“So what you have to do is match available locations with preferred times and make sure hotel rooms are available. We ended the date of June 27th. I think it's a good date. "

In November, conservative strategist Jason Lietaer said Scheer not participating in the Pride charts was a "mistake." And former Stephen Harper communications director Kory Teneycke said Scheer's position in same-sex marriage "could be fatal" to his future as a leader.

The Toronto Pride Festival takes place downtown, in the Church and Wellesley neighborhood. The leadership vote will be held at the Toronto Congress Center near Pearson Airport.

Raitt added that the date was chosen with the current state of government in mind.

“Last time, we were at the beginning of a liberal majority government. This time we are in a minority situation. There is no guarantee that it will take longer than the next vote of confidence, ”she said.

"We want the party to be prepared."

Many believe high-level Tories such as Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay, Pierre Poilievre, Michelle Rempel Garner and Candice Bergen could be potential candidates.

Raitt said on Friday that anyone thinking of putting their name on the dispute has another 10 days to decide.

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