Baird report on Conservative election campaign finished, won't be made public
OTTAWA -- Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has received former Tory cabinet minister John Baird’s postmortem on the party’s unsuccessful federal election campaign, but it will not be made public.
Scheer tweeted Tuesday that he was “looking forward to reviewing it and sharing the feedback” with his coming replacement, but according to the leader's office, Baird’s findings will be kept internal and the party won’t say whether that means caucus members will get access.
“This is a strategy document prepared for the Leader of the Party. Political parties do not make internal strategy documents public,” said acting director of communications Simon Jefferies in an email to CTV News.
Asked for further clarity about who internally would have access, beyond Scheer and the yet-to-be-determined new leader, and whether or not caucus members would get to read Baird’s findings, Jefferies said: “Those are internal matters which we would never discuss publicly.”
Baird's external review into the potential shortcomings of the Conservative campaign began in the weeks following the Oct. 21 vote, after dissatisfaction began bubbling up among Conservatives about Scheer’s performance and the party’s electoral strategy and internal numbers.
Scheer, who announced mid last month that he is resigning as leader as soon as a replacement is named, had asked Baird to report back on his findings as soon as possible, and potential for an early election to be triggered.
Recognizing the frustration with the outcome and calls for considerable changes before the next election, Scheer also embarked on a cross-Canada listening tour and fired some senior staff members before deciding to step aside.
As of Scheer’s resignation announcement on Dec. 12, Baird had yet to start writing his report, and was still working on getting feedback on the campaign through meetings with riding-level staff, volunteers, and those who worked in the party’s campaign war room.
“I hope it will inform our Party’s next campaign and provide advice to whomever the #CPC membership select as leader,” Baird tweeted at the time.
As things stand, CTV News has confirmed Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole will be running and have begun organizing, while fellow caucus member Marilyn Gladu has declared she’s campaigning for the top job too. Longtime political organizer Bryan Brulotte, who had previously said he’d run for the position, has pulled out.
Sources have told CTV News that Baird will be running Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre’s campaign.
Other names have been widely speculated on as contenders, including former interim leader Rona Ambrose and former Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay. Both are said to be seriously considering throwing their hats into the ring and could both very soon be declaring their intentions. Similarly, former Quebec premier Jean Charest is also considering a bid.
The next Conservative leader is scheduled to be elected in Toronto in June. The formal leadership race process opened up Monday.