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Third leadership debate to be held by the Conservative Party of Canada in August

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Conservative Party of Canada has decided to hold a third debate in the contest to become its next leader.

Members of the leadership election organizing committee met Wednesday and decided to host another following a survey the party sent out to members last week in which 24,000 responded, according to a party spokesman.

“The response was overwhelmingly in favour of a third debate,” Yaroslav Baran said.

Read more: ‘I’m very worried’: Former Tory Senate leader on Poilievre, convoys and the party’s future

The event will take place in August and more details on the timing are expected to be released later Thursday.

Under party rules, it is mandatory for leadership contestants to attend official debates or face a fine.

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Candidates have already participated in two official debates, one in English in Edmonton and a second in French in Laval, Que.

Campaigns had been informed, however, that their candidates could be called back by the party to participate in a third sometime in early August.

It will be held as voting is already underway and the party has begun receiving completed ballots. The event will also be without Patrick Brown, who earlier in the month was disqualified from the race over an allegation he may have breached federal election law, which he denies.

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Results of the race will be announced in Ottawa Sept. 10.

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest had been pressing the party to host a third debate, and fellow candidates Scott Aitchison and Roman Baberhad also expressed support.

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The campaign of Leslyn Lewis said she would attend as required, and a spokesman for Pierre Poilievre, the race’s perceived front-runner, has not yet responded as to his feelings about a third debate.

Poilievre recently skipped a debate not organized by the party while candidates were in Alberta for the Calgary Stampede.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2022

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