What does it take to recreate a new political party?


For the second time in less than three years, the federal Tories could face new competition at the polls, thanks to a new center-right alternative led by one of the party’s former leadership contenders.

In 2018, it was Maxime Bernier who, just a few weeks after separating from the Conservative caucus a year after losing leadership to Andrew Scheer, announced the formation of the People’s Party of Canada.

Officially registered in January 2019, the People’s Party would field candidates in 315 constituencies across Canada, although it ultimately did not win a single seat.

Fast forward to today, and it looks like Derek Sloan is preparing to unveil what he claims to be “the greatest patriotic movement Canada has ever seen.” (For those who lost track, Sloan was one of four candidates on the ballot in the 2020 Conservative leadership race, as well as the first to be removed from the list after the first ballot. He was kicked out of the Conservative caucus in January.)

“We’re getting organized now, and we’re going to light a match, folks, and it’s going to start burning in here, and it’s going to spread,” he told an outdoor crowd in Alberta last month. that he warned his supporters that he wouldn’t be able to reveal the name until it was “approved” by Elections Canada – not “publicly”, anyway.

“Someone else will whisper it in your ear, maybe, but I can’t, until it’s approved,” he said, which could be “in two. , three, four weeks “.

In an interview with Global News last week, however, Sloan confirmed that he would be called the True North Party, “pending approval from Elections Canada.” A spokesperson for the agency said it was “working to ensure that the requirements of the Canada Elections Act are met for (the party) to become official.”

So, what exactly does this entail?

Courtesy of a previous edition of Process Nerd, here’s a full look at the approval process around 2018, when Bernier was preparing the paperwork needed for his new People’s Party to be officially designated “eligible” for registration, which starts when the party formally approves a confirmed candidate in an election or by-election.

Among the boxes to be checked: the full name of the party, as well as its desired abbreviation and logo; a statement of its “fundamental purpose”; and the signed declarations of at least 250 voters who are also “party members” and who support their application for registration.

According to a new section of the law that came into effect in 2019, Sloan must also provide a privacy policy outlining exactly how the party will handle and protect personal information.

According to the Elections Canada checklist, the return must include:

  • the types of personal information that the party collects and how it collects it;
  • how the party protects and uses the information under its control, and under what circumstances such personal information may be sold to any person or entity;
  • training regarding the collection and use of personal information to be given to any party employee who may have access to personal information under the control of the party; and
  • the party’s practices regarding the collection and use of personal information created from online activity, and its use of cookies.

It should also provide “the name and contact details of a person to whom concerns about the party’s privacy policy can be directed,” and the policy should also be posted on the party’s website.

This appears to be the only significant change to the process since the People’s Party was officially added to the list of registered parties.

It should be noted, however, that with a looming election call in mid-August, Sloan will be operating under a much tighter deadline than Bernier, who had almost a full year to assemble the inaugural slate of candidates. of his party before embarking on the electoral campaign.

In theory, this could make it harder for True North to mount a credible campaign for the hearts and minds of disgruntled Conservative voters, though it’s likely Sloan and his team are already collecting the contact information that will be crucial. to get their supporters to the polls.

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