The Conservative Party decided on Wednesday night to resume the race to pick its next leader after suspending the contest in March because of the impact of public health measures implemented amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the party committee responsible for organizing the leadership race said it met Wednesday and decided that the contest and campaigns could resume “with adjustments to accommodate current circumstances” and with an Aug. 21 deadline to mail in ballots.
“The result will be announced as soon as those ballots can be properly processed and examined by scrutineers while respecting any health guidelines in place at that time,” the statement said.
The committee said it would monitor the COVID-19 situation “closely” and try to confirm details about the leadership announcement in the weeks ahead.
Two of the four leadership hopefuls are sitting Tory MPs: Erin O’Toole and Derek Sloan. The other two vying for the party leadership are former longtime MP Peter MacKay and Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis.
Both O’Toole and MacKay served as cabinet ministers in former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government.
The committee and the party also said they’re sticking with the May 15 deadline to sign up new members who would be eligible to vote in the leadership election.