Conservative Party of Canada

The Conservative Party of Canada (French: Parti conservateur du Canada), colloquially known as the Tories, is a federal political party in Canada. It was formed in 2003 from the multiple right-leaning parties which had existed in Canada for over a century, historically grouped into two camps known as the "Red Tories" and the "Blue Tories".[8] The party sits at the centre-right to the right of the Canadian political spectrum, with their federal rivals, the Liberal Party of Canada, positioned to their left.[9][10][6][11] The Conservatives are defined as a "big tent" party, practising "brokerage politics"[lower-alpha 3][14][15][16] and welcoming a broad variety of members.[17] The party's current leader is Erin O'Toole, who serves as Leader of the Official Opposition.

Conservative Party of Canada
Parti conservateur du Canada
AbbreviationCPC (English)
PCC (French)
LeaderErin O'Toole
PresidentRobert Batherson
Deputy leaderCandice Bergen
Senate leaderDon Plett
House leaderGérard Deltell
Founder(s)Stephen Harper[lower-alpha 1]
Peter MacKay[lower-alpha 2]
FoundedDecember 7, 2003; 17 years ago (2003-12-07)
Merger ofCanadian Alliance (CRCA),
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (PC)
Headquarters1720–130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5G4
Membership (2020) 269,469[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[5] to right-wing[6]
European affiliationEuropean Conservatives and Reformists Party (regional partner)
Continental affiliationAsia Pacific Democrat Union
Union of Latin American Parties (associate party)
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union[7]
Colours  Blue
Senate
18 / 105
House of
Commons
119 / 338
Website
English language: www.conservative.ca
French language: www.conservateur.ca

During the Conservative Party's governance of Canada from 2006 to 2015, its legislative decisions included reducing sales tax, reducing business taxes, balancing the national budget, eliminating the long-gun registry, introducing mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes, raising the age of consent to 16 years of age, appointing several elected senators, permitting the construction of several pipelines, supporting the State of Israel, negotiating the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and creating the Universal Child Care Benefit.[18][19][20][21]

From Canadian Confederation until 1942, the original Conservative Party of Canada participated in numerous governments.[22] Before 1942, the predecessors to the Conservatives had multiple names, but by 1942, the main right-wing Canadian force became known as the Progressive Conservative Party (PC).[23] In 1957, John Diefenbaker became the first prime minister from the PCs, and remained in office until 1963.[24]

In 2003, the Canadian Alliance and the PCs merged, forming the Conservative Party of Canada.[11] The unified Conservative Party generally favours lower taxes, small government, more transfer of federal government powers to the provinces modelled after the Meech Lake Accord and a tougher stand on law and order issues.

Under its first leader, Stephen Harper, the party governed with two minority governments after the federal elections of 2006 and 2008. It then won a majority government in the 2011 federal election before being defeated in the 2015 federal election by a majority Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau.[25] However, under its second and third leaders, Andrew Scheer and Erin O'Toole, the party narrowly won the popular vote despite remaining in opposition, in 2019 and 2021.