Four leadership hopefuls for the Conservative Party will take part in a debate later this month, at the Independent Press Gallery of Canada’s first event on July 29. Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, and Derek Sloan will square off in the debate moderated by True North’s Andrew Lawton, an event that will also feature an appearance by Independent Press gallery president Candice Malcolm. The debate will be streamed on the gallery’s page and broadcast live from Toronto, beginning at 7 p.m., along with media availabilities for the candidates. Voting for a new leader is currently underway, and the party said July 14 that more than 269,000 members are eligible to vote in the race. About 100,000 of those memberships were bought in 2020, and the party said it is the largest membership in party history. A replacement for outgoing leader Andrew Scheer is to be named on Aug. 21. The Independent Press Gallery, meanwhile, bills itself as “an alternative to the government-influenced Parliamentary Press Gallery.”
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