Tonight the University-Rosedale EDA had the pleasure of hosting Michael Chong, MP for Wellington – Halton Hills, and candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, at the home of Board member Doc von Lichtenberg and his partner Keith. We also had the pleasure of meeting Michael’s wife, Carrie Davidson, at tonight’s event. Our thanks to Doc and Keith for opening their home for this event, and for the effort that they put into making the evening a success, both as a fundraiser for the University-Rosedale EDA, and as an opportunity for conservatives to get together, exchange ideas, and listen to a knowledgeable visitor from Ottawa.
MP and former Cabinet Minister Michael Chong, now running for the CPC leadership, advocated enthusiastically for a conservative vision that focused on strategies for economic stability and future success in a changing and challenging world, and a fiscally rational strategy for environmental management. He has been, and from his words tonight, clearly will continue to be, a champion for democratic reform which will put more power in the hands of elected House of Commons members and reducing the power of the Prime Minister’s Office. A practical plan for Senate reform was mentioned, and his inside knowledge of how Ottawa works makes his words worth taking seriously. Mr. Chong ably and directly answered a number of questions from those in attendance, and there was a great back-and-forth.
We had about 40 guests, and as usual, young conservatives were well represented (we don’t think they just came for the free food).
Before and after the speeches, including an introduction from our Board president Keith Tuomi, and a lesson in history and political philosophy from the legendary Karim Jivraj, we all had a chance for some face time with Mr. Chong, to get an idea about where he stands on the issues that concern us most. This is one of the best reasons to come to these events. This man may one day be Prime Minister of Canada.
Stay tuned for future events with the CPC leadership candidates. Kellie Leitch will be here on November 23, and we had Maxime Bernier visit in May. Remember, these events are fundraisers for the EDA, not for the individual candidate, so you can support your local conservatives while at the same time gathering the information you need to help make your important decision in May of next year. It’s surely better to make that decision based on meeting these individuals in person than based on the distorted information you get from our media. See you at the next local event, and make sure you are a CPC party member in the next year so you can vote for our next leader!
Every two years the Conservative Party of Canada holds a National Convention, as mandated in our party’s Constitution. This national gathering has the power to amend and adopt our Policy Document, amend the Party’s Constitution, and elect National Council by secret ballot. The 2016 Convention took place from May 26 to 28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Nearly 2000 delegates selected from all ridings across Canada (up to 10 delegate per riding) along with caucus members, riding association presidents and candidates in the last election, were eligible to vote on these matters. University-Rosedale sent 10 delegates to participate in the various forums and meetings, and here is our report along with some pictures to try to capture the feel of the event.
The Vancouver Convention Centre is an excellent facility, located on the waterfront, looking out onto Vancouver Harbour, with a beautiful backdrop. It’s in a lively part of town, full of restaurants and shops. It was quite rainy through most of the convention, though we saw some fair weather on the Friday.
Thursday May 26th saw the opening of the convention, with our interim leader Rona Ambrose taking the microphone, followed by Laureen Harper and finally our former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Every speaker stressed the importance of maintaining party unity if we are to be able to succeed in future elections. In a gracious and selfless speech Mr. Harper thanked all the many people that had put the Conservative Party of Canada into power for nearly 10 years, ending of course by thanking his family for the support that made it possible.
Friday’s main events were the breakout sessions for the first round of discussion and voting on Policy and Constitution changes and amendments. The CPC Policy Declaration is not a legally binding document for future laws, but points the party leadership to the will and desires of its grassroots supporters. It is said that when he was Prime Minister, Mr. Harper would look to the Policy Declaration as one place for guidance when new policies were proposed.
In preparation for the Convention, Conservative riding associations had met in January and February throughout Canada to suggest changes to the Party’s governing documents – the Constitution and the Policy Declaration. Through a series of local and then regional meetings, as well as online discussions, the many suggestions made were reduced to a manageable number to be discussed further in Vancouver.
On Friday, the policy discussions were divided into three sessions, each attended by hundreds of delegates – Role of Government, Environment and Economic Development; Criminal Justice and Social Policy; and Foreign Policy, Canadian Culture and Diversity. At each of these breakout sessions, delegates discussed and then voted upon policies, with the top 10 from each room moving on to the final vote at the Plenary session the next day. A similar process occurred for changes and amendments that would be proposed for the CPC Constitution.
The discussions were at times fairly passionate, especially in the Social Policy room, but the moderators did an excellent job of keeping things moving, while being flexible enough to let strong feelings be heard. Throughout even the most difficult disagreements, delegates to the convention always displayed respect to one another, and the discussion was informed and reasoned. We can be proud of this, regardless of which side of the discussion we took.
Those proposals that had sufficient support at the breakout sessions made it to the Plenary Session on Saturday May 28th, where all delegates in attendance would vote.
On Saturday all delegates came together in two plenary sessions, the morning dedicated to Constitution issues and the afternoon for Policy Document changes that had made it out of the breakout sessions. As in the previous day, a microphones was set up to speak for those who supported the policy, and another for those who opposed it. We were organized by province, as the tally included not only the overall vote, but province-by-province vote, since a “double majority” (majority of total votes AND a majority of provinces in support) was required to pass a new or amended policy.
Some of the policies that were passed included support for the development of Energy East Pipeline by private industry, removal of a statement defining marriage as being the union of one man and one woman, conscience rights for religious organizations to not participate in activities that are incompatible with their faith and beliefs, declaring support and respect for law abiding firearms ownership and enjoyment, and allowing peace officers to give tickets for possession of small quantities of marijuana rather than going through the criminal justice system. A policy on euthanasia did not pass the breakout session with sufficient support to make it to the plenary sessions but generated intense and thoughtful discussion.
The contribution of LGBTory members from University-Rosedale deserves special mention, as they spearheaded the change to the marriage policy, working together with fellow conservatives across Canada, taking the policy change through local and regional meetings, and in Vancouver through the breakout and then plenary sessions. When this policy change passed, with support of several MPs who spoke in favour, it was the most emotional moment of the convention.
Throughout even the most difficult disagreements, delegates to the convention always displayed respect to one another, and the discussion was informed and reasoned. We can be proud of this, whether or not we supported the policy that ended up passing.
Among many other activities were a variety of sessions put on by the CPC to discuss tools for successful campaigning and fundraising, a debriefing session to discuss October’s election, and the three declared leadership candidates also took the stage to answer questions from the large audience.
An important part of the meeting was selecting our new National Council representatives. There were 4 selected from Ontario, and University-Rosedale’s own Ghina al Sewaidi was a candidate. Scott Lamb is the new President of the Conservative Party of Canada, taking over from John Walsh, who has done a tremendous job over the past 7 years. The dedication and effort that this job requires cannot be overstated. Thank you John for all you’ve done, and thank you Scott for taking on this challenging role.
Evenings saw many smaller gatherings in the hospitality suites of various organizations, leadership candidates, and of course the Fabulous Blue Tent (always the biggest party at the convention).
It was an exhilarating few days. To people who have not attended one of these events before, the most striking impression one gets from the event is of how broadly based and energetic this party is. It’s obvious that all Canadians who believe in conservative ideas are welcome in the CPC – there are no barriers of sex, origin, language, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We have huge numbers of young active conservatives, and this promises a bright future. Our supporters contribute of their time and money more than those of the other parties, and we know that being conservative, they are just more sensible. The future looks good, we just have to get out there and mobilize all these resources to take Canada back to a better future in 2019.
Monday, April 4, 2016. This evening conservatives in University Rosedale gathered to select a new Board of Directors and Executive leadership for the Riding Association. Our thanks to all who attended.
Our thanks to Ghina Al-Sewaidi, the outgoing EDA President who is now running for CPC National Council. She’s been an amazing leader and a great ambassador for University-Rosedale in innumerable meetings and activities in which she has participated across Ontario and Canada.
Congratulations to our new EDA president, Keith Tuomi, and Vice President, Karim Jivraj. Both gave rousing speeches to the gathered crowd.
Karim, who ran a great campaign against all odds in the last election, thanked all those who gave their time and support in that effort, and spoke of what he learned on the campaign trail, and how we can build on this in 2019.
Keith gave a stirring defense of Canadian Conservative principles and discussed our plans in the coming year or two as we head towards the Policy Convention in May of this year, and then build to the Leadership convention in 2017. The Conservative Party of Canada is alive and active in University-Rosedale, and there will be some exciting events with some very well known Canadian conservative politicians, one of whom may be our next leader and Prime Minister.
We elected a slate of 18 Directors, several of them new to the Board. We look forward to the energy and new ideas that they will bring to the table in the coming year. Our focus this year will be on supporting and collaborating with young conservatives to help bring the Conservative message far and loud everywhere. If you are a young Conservative and want to participate in political activities in the riding and beyond, please contact us!
Deer Park Public Library 40 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, M4T 1M9 2nd floor meeting room
We invite all current Conservative Party of Canada Members in the University-Rosedale riding to join us for our Annual General Meeting. Get an update on the riding association, learn what’s going on in the riding, and vote for a new Board of Directors for the EDA.
Voting at the AGM
To vote at the AGM, you must be a current member 21 days before April 4th, 2016.
If you are not a current member before March 14th, you can still renew your membership and attend the meeting as a non-voting participant.
Please note that we cannot renew your membership at this meeting. You can renew your membership on-line at www.conservative.ca.
February 13, 2016: Over fifty thoughtful Conservative Party of Canada members packed the meeting room at 519 Church street for a regional policy meeting chaired and organized by David Gentili and Julian DiBattista, with the efforts of May Chow and the Toronto Centre riding association, supported by University-Rosedale Conservative EDA. We were there for 5 hours, talking about future policy directions for the party, looking at amendments to the party Constitution and Policy Manual that might be discussed further at our May national meeting in Vancouver.
At the end of the day 36 Policy suggestions and 4 Constitution suggestions were discussed and voted upon, with a very broad cross-section of perspective seen in many areas, especially social policy issues, leading to some stimulating and very informative discussion.
Thanks to everyone who made the effort and came out locally, and even from out of town, on this extremely cold Canadian winter day.
Thanks also to MPs and past MPs Kelly Leitch, Peter Kent, and Ted Opitz who came out, spoke to the crowd and even contributed policy suggestions.
Monday, February 1st, 2016, 6-8 PM
Deer Park Public Library
2nd floor meeting room, 40 St.Clair Avenue East
Toronto M4T 1M9
On May 26-28, 2016 the Conservative Party of Canada will be holding a National Policy Convention in Vancouver, BC. At this meeting, delegates will be amending the CPC Constitution and adopting and amending our Policy Declaration. This is how the party changes and improves with time.
The process starts locally.The CPC is truly a grassroots party, and this is your opportunity to participate. You can propose policy and constitution changes that may end up changing our governing documents
You must be a CPC member. Read our Constitution and Policy Declaration. Come to the February 1st meeting armed with thoughtful ideas and an open mind, meet other conservatives in the riding, propose your ideas in writing, argue for them, and see if the group votes to pass them on to the next level of policy and constitutional work at the regional level.
Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP if possible. To RSVP, or with any questions, e-mail us at info@UniversityRosedaleCPC.com or go to our website at UniversityRosedaleCPC.com.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 7 – 9 PM
Deer Park Public Library
2nd floor meeting room, 40 St.Clair Avenue East
Toronto M4T 1M9
On May 26-28, 2016 the Conservative Party of Canada will be holding a National Policy Convention in Vancouver, BC. At this meeting, delegates will be:
amending the Constitution
adopting and amending party policy
selecting National Council members
In preparation for the May 2016 National Policy Convention, the University Rosedale Conservative EDA must select delegates to send to Vancouver. If you wish to be eligible to vote for a delegate candidate, and/or wish to be a delegate candidate yourself, you must be a paid-up member of the CPC as of 21 days prior to the vote, i.e. January 6th.
If selected to represent University Rosedale, Delegates will be expected to travel to Vancouver and attend the meeting at their own expense (the cost of registration remains to be determined but was about $800 for the 2013 convention, less for youth delegates, with most of this cost eligible for a tax receipt). Up to 10 delegates, and alternates, will be selected on January 27th. They will include a youth candidate (under age 23 with the highest number of votes) as one of the 10 delegates.
If you wish to stand as a Delegate nominee, you must complete this Delegate Nomination form, and submit it to the Delegate Selection Meeting chair prior to the start of the meeting. For the purposes of accrediting members at the Delegate Selection Meeting, members will be required to provide two (2) pieces of official identification, at least one of which must contain a photo of the member and one must indicate residence.
Refreshments will be served. To help ensure we have sufficient refreshments, please RSVP by January 25th. You do not have to RSVP to attend.