Press Room

Conservative Party establishment rigs Leadership election by disqualifying the second, anti-establishment, social conservative Leadership candidate

Toronto, March 20, 2020 –  This morning, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) posted on social media its congratulations to Jim Karahalios, Leslyn Lewis and MP Derek Sloan for hitting the 3,000 signature and $300,000 entry fee requirements to becoming official candidates in the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leadership race.  Pro-life Conservatives across the country had been elated throughout the day Friday with the news that three out of what would likely be five final candidates on the ballot, were out-and proud-pro-lifers.

However, by Friday afternoon, the celebratory mood turned to outrage, after CLC learned from a reliable party source, that the CPC’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC), had disqualified one of the three endorsed candidates.  Jim Karahalios, the most outspoken critic of the red Tory establishment “swamp”, has been disqualified.

“This is an outrage!” said Jeff Gunnarson, National President of Campaign Life Coalition. “Thousands of our supporters answered our call to sign nomination papers and donate towards the Karahalios, Lewis and Sloan campaigns.  Even though the barriers to entry were clearly designed by LEOC to keep out grassroots, non-establishment individuals like Jim, we helped him and the other pro-life candidates overcome them with a strong and effective grassroots campaign, by marshalling thousands of supporters to sign their nomination forms and donate”.

“Jim raised the onerous $300K entry fee plus the 3,000 signatures. No one questions that he is a life-long, hard core Conservative – a true Conservative – heavily involved in the party for years, including serving on its National Policy Committee and as a past EDA President for Cambridge. And therefore, he has earned the right to be on the ballot. Accordingly, grassroots party members have a right to vote for him in this leadership race! Therefore, on behalf of thousands of grassroots party members, CLC demands that CPC National Council override LEOC, and reinstate Jim’s candidacy,” added Gunnarson.

“After the disgraced LEOC committee disqualified Richard Decarie over his traditional conservative beliefs about human sexuality, we won’t believe any excuse that little band of cheats comes out with to justify blocking a second social conservative,” said Jack Fonseca, Director of Political Operations for Campaign Life Coalition. “We know they’re liars, and can’t trust one word that comes out of their mouths. The red Tory establishment swamp has been working hard to drive social conservatives out of the party once and for all.  Karahalios is the second scalp they’ve now claimed, not because he did anything wrong, but because his conservative beliefs are at odds with their liberal ones.”

“Although we’re very pleased that half the leadership candidates will be social conservatives who will be able to stand up for our values, that’s not good enough. It should be three out of five, and LEOC cannot be allowed to get away with this. We call upon every card-carrying Conservative to flood the party’s National Council members – which created this little committee of crooks and cheats – to demand they override LEOC’s egregious disqualification of a true blue Conservative, and to reinstate Jim Karahalios’ candidacy immediately,” added Fonseca.

About Campaign Life Coalition
Campaign Life Coalition is a national, non-profit organization involved in political action and advocacy for legal and cultural change in Canada with respect to protecting human life and the family. It is non-partisan and encourages voting based on principles, not party. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition, [email protected], 647-638-5433
Jeff Gunnarson, Campaign Life Coalition, [email protected], 519-835-8201