March 19, 2020 (Sarnia) – It is with sadness and disappointment that I read the statement issued by Rudy Husny earlier this morning.
Mr. Husny, like me, is a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Like me, he feels it is inappropriate and inconsiderate to be contacting Canadians at this time to ask for their time, money and especially their attention as our nation works to cope with the current Covid-19 outbreak.
Personally, I am already on the record explaining at some length that I believe it is time for Conservatives to shed the image of being cold, uncaring, selfish and unconcerned about the well-being of Canadians.
I fear that the Conservative Party’s absolute refusal to suspend the leadership race even in the face of directives from the Public Health Agency of Canada not to gather in groups and to maximize social distance ignores the fact that a state of emergency has been declared, that Canadians are focused on the pandemic and the failing economy, NOT on the Conservative Leadership race.
My campaign has met all the required benchmarks to date, and we look forward to continuing towards the requirements for both signatures and money. However, given the current pandemic, achieving these goals is more difficult if not impossible.
There is no reason that this leadership race could not be delayed until the pandemic is resolved. There is no reason to insist upon clinging to deadlines which were arbitrarily set before Covid-19 became an issue in Canada.
Like Mr. Husny, I am willing to keep working to meet upcoming benchmarks; however, if the Conservative Party chooses to disqualify me on March 25th because I refuse to impose upon Canadians working to ensure the health and safety of their loved ones, I will accept their decision with resignation and disappointment.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me though volunteer work, financial donation or signatures of support.
I wish all Canadians well as they keep their attention focused on where it ought to be: their families, and the well-being of their communities.