I’m back from the Conservative Party of Canada’s convention in lovely Halifax. I was there with Sheila Gunn Reid, our Alberta bureau chief, and two of our staff, Eitan and Efron.
We covered a lot of ground. And we had a meet and greet for Rebel supporters, and hundreds of people came out. It was so jam-packed, the hotel was afraid we'd violate the fire code.
But the convention itself — well, that’s a different matter...
As you know, on the eve of the convention, Maxime Bernier quit the Conservatives, and said he was contemplating setting up his own party.
Had Bernier simply delayed his exit by a few days, it would have helped him — he could have pointed to the gong show of the convention as proof that he had to leave it.
I call it a gong show for a few reasons.
First: Andrew Scheer has made protecting Quebec’s dairy cartel his signature issue. The dairy cartel literally had 25 lobbyists in attendance. I can’t imagine that any other group had more than one or two.
We know this because a huge dairy lobbyist binder was left on the table of a restaurant, and it was found by a regular party member, who made the contents public. And these documents make it clear that the whole thing was a stitch up from the start. We spoke to many delegates who thought they actually had a chance to shape the party’s direction; they were infuriated by these rigged rules in the dairy cartel's favour, by the way supply management was intentionally placed at the very end of the agenda, making a real debate on the issue impossible.
And of course, Andrew Scheer banned The Rebel from the conference. Even some of his staffers opposed this, and told Scheer this to his face. It didn't make any difference.
I’m absolutely certain that the only real reason why Scheer banned The Rebel is because the other media bullied him into doing it. That’s not just a theory, either, as I'll explain tonight.
Anyway, as promised, I delivered our petition of 10,000 party members demanding that we be allowed in to the convention — but Scheer had a six-member security team watching us the whole time. When we walked to the door, they sent someone to block us, but not even a Conservative staffer. Instead, they sent out... a student intern from the convention centre. Again, so weird.
Look, Justin Trudeau needs to be replaced. The only party that can replace him is the Conservatives. (Maxime Bernier doesn’t yet have a new party, and it won’t win.
Perhaps Scheer thinks that means any conservative in the country is trapped, and must support him.
That’s what Patrick Brown thought, too...
I will make a prediction and it’s an unhappy one:
Unless Andrew Scheer finds some courage somewhere, and realizes that his true enemy is the liberal media, he will lose the next election.
And the Conservative Party will be much more divided, much smaller and much weaker than the one he inherited from Harper.
NEXT: Our Alberta Bureau Chief, Sheila Gunn Reid, comes on to talk more about the Conservative convention, and the issue of birthright citizenship, which is now under scrutiny after a leaked Liberal memo.
THEN: One of our favourite guests and experts, Manny Montenegrino, joins me to talk about Trump's trade deal with Mexico, and what Trudeau's Liberals are doing while this important deal is taking place.
FINALLY: Your messages to me!