The Conservative Party of Canada will wait until Sept. 10 to pick a new leader, providing more time for prospective candidates to mount their campaigns, including former Quebec premier Jean Charest.
Charest met with about 40 MPs and senators Wednesday evening before the rules of the contest were announced several hours later. He said he was waiting to see the rules before making a decision.
Among the decisions Conservatives on the committee had to make was opting for a shorter contest or a longer one — a decision many said would determine how many candidates would decide to enter the race, such as those not currently serving as MPs and who may run on single issues.
So far, the only candidate that has declared himself to be running is Pierre Poilievre, a well-known Ottawa-area MP with a reputation for fiery performances in Parliament.
Others considering running include Conservative MP and former leadership contender Michael Chong, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who formerly led Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, and Leslyn Lewis, the Ontario MP who placed third behind former leader Erin O'Toole in the 2020 contest, thanks to considerable backing from social conservatives and members from Western Canada.
The party says candidates will have until April 19 to throw their hats into the ring.
The entry fee will be $200,000, on top of a $100,000 deposit to ensure they comply with the rules, which will be refunded after the contest is over.
Membership applications must be in by June 3 and ballots will begin going out to Conservative party members.