Progressive Canadian Party
Parti progressiste canadien
|Leader||Hon. Sinclair Stevens P.C.|
|Founded||March 29, 2004|
|Headquarters||264 Queen's Quay West,
|Official colours||Blue, usually with Red trim|
The Progressive Canadian Party (PC Party) (French: Parti progressiste canadien) is a minor federal political party in Canada. It is a centre/centre-right party that was officially registered with Elections Canada, the government's election agency, on March 29, 2004.
Under provisions of the Canada Elections Act that took effect on May 14, 2004, parties were only required to nominate one candidate in order to qualify for official party status in the June 28, 2004 federal election. This meant that Progressive Canadian Party candidates were listed on the ballot alongside the party's name, rather than being designated as independents.
Following the dissolution of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and its merger with the Canadian Alliance into the new Conservative Party of Canada, the Progressive Canadian Party was formed by "Red Tories" who opposed the merger. One of the organizers, Joe Hueglin, is a former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from Niagara Falls, Ontario.
In announcing the new party, Hueglin stated that the party had about a dozen potential candidates and a mailing list of 330 names. The party nominated 16 candidates for the 2004 general election, mostly in southern Ontario and Nova Scotia.
The party held a national convention in 2005 to select a leader and to develop policies. It has also established the "Macdonald-Cartier PC Fund" to raise money for the party, under the direction of the Hon. Sinclair Stevens, who was a cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney before he was forced to resign on allegations of conflict of interest, for which he was subsequently cleared.
On November 17, 2005, Stevens' lawsuit to force Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley to rescind recognition of the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party with the Canadian Alliance was rejected by the Federal Court of Appeal. The court did rule, however, that Kingsley erred in not waiting 30 days to register the merger. Stevens appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada, but that court announced on April 27, 2006, that it would not hear the appeal by Sinclair Stevens. The court gave no reason for its decision.
Founding party leader Ernie Schreiber resigned in 2005 because of a heart condition. The party appointed Tracy Parsons as his successor. The party nominated 25 candidates for the 2006 federal election. Former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and leadership candidate Heward Grafftey stood as a candidate for the party during that election. (See also: Progressive Canadian Party candidates, 2006 Canadian federal election.)
The new PC Party aims to be the successor to the former Progressive Conservative Party. A few prominent figures are associated with this new party (while Stevens and Heward Grafftey are, Joe Clark, for example, is not). David Orchard, a fervent opponent of the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance, made no official statement about the new party. During the 2006 election, Orchard endorsed and later joined the Liberal Party.
The party adopted the last policy platform of the Progressive Conservative party, but has begun to create new policies for Canada to meet new situations and challenges. These platforms include (but are not limited to), support of the Canadian Wheat Board, support for small business, belief in a single tier health-care system, the promise of eliminating student debt, and a foreign policy that emphasizes Canada's dual role of peace-keepers and diplomats. The new party's official logo and initials are an homage to the Progressive Conservative Party, where the party draws its history, policy, and constitution from.
On November 17, 2007, it was reported that Parsons, along with party president Jim Love, the party's four member executive and several other senior members had joined the Liberal Party of Canada. Parsons was quoted as saying, "As a political party you are always trying to find your differentiators [with other parties] and I found that when Stéphane Dion became the leader of the Liberal Party that that differentiator was harder and harder to locate." Since the departure of Parsons, Sinclair Stevens has served as interim party leader.
Following the General Meeting of the party in 2009, held in Newmarket, Ontario, a scandal involving the payment of selected volunteers in the party's national office taking place from 2007-2009 divided party members and erupted tempers across the floor. Dealing with a deeply divided convention floor, voters elected an entirely new national executive to take office. Following the results of the election of party's new Executive Members, out-going President Dorian Baxter left the convention calling for an investigation into results of the ballet and claiming that voting irregularities had taken place. Within two weeks of the General Meeting, all of the newly elected executive resigned from their positions to create the United Party of Canada. Currently the Progressive Canadian Party remains in political limbo.
|Election||# of candidates||# of votes||% of popular vote||% of popular vote in ridings with PC candidates||# of seats|
|By-Election||candidate||# of votes||% of popular vote||place||Winner|
|London North Centre||Steve Hunter||146||0.38%||5/7||Glen Pearson (Lib)|
The party has had three leaders and only two are still members of the party. Parsons is now a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. Schreiber is an inactive member of the party. Two leaders were not elected and never ran in any elections.
|Picture||Name||Term start||Term end||Riding||Notes|
|Ernie Schreiber (politician)||2004||2005||N/A - not elected as MP||First leader|
|Tracy Parsons||2005||2007||N/A - lost in election for Carleton—Mississippi Mills (as leader) and Dartmouth—Cole Harbour (as member of the party)|
|Sinclair Stevens||2007||N/A - not elected as MP||interim leader|