2003 Progressive Conservative
started a few months back when our former National President Craig
Chandler was encouraged to seek the leadership of the federal Progressive
Conservative Party of Canada.
Craig resigned as National President of the PGIB and assembled a
campaign team and traveled throughout Canada promoting the message
of conservative unity and PGIB policies.
PGIB has a long and detailed past in uniting the conservative movement
which can be seen at www.2cards.ca under movement history.
However, this latest campaign has positioned PGIB as a legitimate
political broker in the Canadian conservative movement.
Here is the real story on what actually happened during the recent
leadership race. Take into consideration that we are only reporting
to you what happened during the actual leadership convention weekend,
as discussing the race leading up to the convention itself would
literally take another 20 issues. All we will say for
now is that the PC Party establishment loyal to division at the
party's national headquarters pulled every trick in the book including
losing 103 submitted delegates from the Chandler campaign.
The strategy started Thursday, May 29 when Jim Prentice, Randy Dawson
(Prentice Campaign Manager), Craig Chandler and Bruce Peck (Chandler
Campaign Manager) enjoyed lunch at the luxurious National Club on
Bay Street in the financial district of Toronto.
With Bruce Peck leading much of the discussion, we laid out our
strategy for the remainder of the convention. The focus was
on beating Peter McKay and creating momentum for Jim Prentice and
that was clearly achieved.
Friday night, as the other candidates spoke, Bruce and Craig finalized
the most powerful speech of the convention. The luck of the
draw placed Craig as the closing speaker.
It was roughly 8:45 am and Craig was called up to the stage with
the song "Raise A Little Hell" by Trooper blaring in the
background and the PGIB logo, website and phone numbers displayed
on football stadium sized screens as he walked up on stage.
Then the PGIB policy presentation occurred of policy after policy
being rattled off as solutions to Canada's criminal justice system,
democratic deficit and economic woes. Craig delivered the
PGIB www.2cards.ca message in no uncertain terms.
Craig delivered kind words to David Orchard and called him an honorable
man, although he fundamentally disagrees with his liberal agenda.
Craig praised Scott Brison for his fiscal views and for his sincerity
in friendship. However, what was tantamount to a surgical missile
was fired at Peter McKay for his anti-Canadian Alliance rhetoric
and his ill informed position on Bill C-250 which would eliminate
free speech and make criminals out of those with Religious convictions.
Craig's aggressive attack on Peter McKay set the mood for the
rest of the convention and was the focal point of the news nation
wide for the first days of the convention. Craig delivered
his concerns in a concise and calculated matter, Peter McKay received
the message loud & clear.
PGIB believes in freedom of speech and have a libertarian view on
religion where we believe Canadians are free to celebrate their
deep held convictions as long as those views are not forced on Canadians.
We applaud Craig for fighting for freedom and standing up for PGIB
policies and his own personal beliefs which he is entitled to as
a Canadian. Craig's speech can be heard in it's entirety
at www.2cards.ca under Our Candidate. We encourage you to
take a listen.
The last segment of Craig's speech was filled with compliments
of Jim Prentice and praise that Jim is open to working with the
Canadian Alliance in forming a coalition government. Craig
launched his second strategic missile by withdrawing from the race
and dedicating his delegates and efforts to Jim Prentice.
The crowd erupted into an absolute frenzy when Craig's endorsement
was delivered at the last minute, on live national television and
radio heard by hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
Jim Prentice and the Prentice Campaign literally embraced Chandler
delegates and observers that swarmed their way over to the Prentice
camp upon Craig's announcement. The merging of Chandler
signs / shirts with those of Prentice was a very powerful visual.
Here is what Jim Prentice was saying about Craig's endorsement
in his media scrum that was carried on CBC TV, CPAC, CTV and other
television and radio stations across Canada:
"It was very clear there was applause for many of the points Craig
"I have been saying for some time that it is going to go to 4
ballots and this shows momentum, I am very pleased to have Craig
"Mr. Chandler reflects the views of many Canadians and we need
room for him in our party".
The following is what the media was writing about this dramatic
turn of events. Please note the following are only a small
sampling of the comments regarding Craig's bold move:
"Prentice embraced Chandler last night when he arrived in his
section of the hall" .
"Prentice told reporters the party should have room for people
like Craig Chandler, a former Canadian Alliance candidate who contested
the federal Tory leadership to promote a unite-the-right merger."
"...Craig Chandler made quite a stir at the Tory convention Friday
night with his flame throwing attack...known for his outspoken manner
Chandler made a show of moving over to Prentice…"
"Craig Chandler's...attack on Mr. McKay...followed by Jim Prentice's
supporters leaping to their feet to celebrate Mr. Chandler's surprise
endorsement of their candidate was the highlight of the evening".
" The federal conservative leadership race took a bizarre turn
last night when...Craig Chandler abruptly withdrew from the race
to endorse Calgary lawyer Jim Prentice as part of a bid to prevent
front runner Peter McKay from winning...Mr. Prentice welcomed the
endorsement as a sign of his campaigns momentum".
Although, only 12 Chandler delegates showed in Toronto because of
the SARS scare it was the Chandler delegates that made a dramatic
impact on the second ballot. Even Julie Chandler did not go for
fear of SARS complicating her pregnancy.
The first ballot positioned Peter McKay in first, David Orchard
in second, followed by Jim Prentice and then Scott Brison.
However, the second ballot is where it became really interesting,
as after the first ballot delegates were free to support any
candidate and there was a dramatic shift. After the second
ballot the positions remained the same, except Jim Prentice only
beat Scott Brison by 3 votes.
Those who were saying that the Craig Chandler campaign would have
no effect on the convention floor were awakened. The 12 viciously
loyal Chandler delegates took Craig's direction and voted for
Jim Prentice on every ballot. On the second ballot it was
the Chandler delegates that kept Jim Prentice in the race.
Jim Prentice only beat Scott Brison by 3 votes. It is evident
the 12 Chandler delegates made the difference
Scott Brison, being the absolute class act that he is decided to
continue the momentum started by the Chandler campaign supported
Jim Prentice on the third ballot. With the Brison, Chandler
and Prentice coalition, Jim Prentice leaped ahead of David Orchard
and placed second leaving David Orchard with a decision that we
thought was an obvious one and that was to defeat the status quo
top down candidate Peter McKay. What happened next stunned the entire
convention and much of the media. The "Deal With The Devil"
as Jason Kenney so aptly labeled it, left the conservative movement
in shock and horror.
Here is how the deal came about. David Orchard wanted his
concerns addressed in writing and threw together a hastily prepared
radical left wing manifesto and approached Jim and Peter to get
a commitment to re-negotiate free trade and guarantee an elimination
of co-operation talks with the Canadian Alliance. Jim Prentice
was honest and refused to open the free trade agreement and did
not want to burn any bridges with the Canadian Alliance. David
then approached Peter McKay and Peter did not say no, but consulted
with his supporters one of whom was Joe Clark himself.
With Joe Clark's wife Maureen McTeer being a supporter of David
Orchard it made sense to involve the Clark family in negotiations
between Orchard and McKay . Joe Clark, the sitting leader for the
party suddenly made his way to the David Orchard camp with wife
Maureen and daughter Catherine Clark at his side. After what
seemed like an eternity, Joe emerged and headed to the Peter McKay
section of the convention floor followed by hoards of media. It
was clear to Bruce Peck and Craig Chandler who witnessed the ordeal
and heard much of the discussion.
The Prentice camp panicked and some inexperienced Prentice campaign
workers tried to control who would talk to Orchard delegates, yet
experienced campaigners such as Bruce, Craig, members of the Blue
Committee and other Chandler delegates, realized that time was short
and all Orchard delegates needed to be reasoned with so the conversion
campaign commenced. Some Orchardites were weeded away from
their dedication to their cult like following of David Orchard realizing
Jim Prentice was the better choice for a broad based and sincere
However, Joe Clark who was not supposed to pick sides, but he did
and lost plenty of respect. The outgoing leader negotiated
the now famous "Deal With The Devil" and alleviated any fears
that Peter McKay had regarding Mr. Orchard and convinced David Orchard
that his concerns would be addressed. After coaxing from Mr.
Clark, Peter and David signed a deal that has delayed uniting the
conservative movement until at least after the next election.
Craig has been in conversation with many in the Alliance.
Peter McKay and Craig have spoken as recently as July 5, 2003 and
have agreed to work together for a better Canada. Peter is
also interested in discussing Bill C-250 further and the lines of
communication for conservative unity are wide open. Craig and Peter
are committed to working together to help unite conservatives.
The conservative family will be reunited and PGIB is in a position
to broker unity as we are trusted by both the Canadian Alliance
and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and for good reason.
Needless to say PGIB put itself on the federal political map (once
again) and PGIB policies were embraced by the Progressive Conservative
party. It is no wonder that Western Canada's most popular
magazine and journalists such as Paul Jackson of the Calgary Sun
endorsed Craig Chandler and the PGIB message.
Good work and a big thank you to Bruce Peck, Jim Blake, Alex Ingram,
Stephen Chapman, Julie Chandler, David Denboer, Hebert Branton,
Larry Branton, Connie John, Brabara Pekrul, Mark Kennedy, Rick Hurley,
Tom Yeoman, Kevin Taylor, Erik Gregson, Sung Singleton, Peter Singleton,
Ray Rousseau, Tasha Fluke, Dominik Kawnik, Sid Helishauer, Michael
Geoghegan and everyone who donated to Craig's campaign without whose
aid there would not have been a campaign. If we have forgot
anyone we are sincerely sorry, please let us know and we will make
it up to you.
that the 2cards.ca is a project of The
Progressive Group For Independent Business the 2cards leadership
is that of the PGIB please look
under Leadership for more info.
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