New 'Centre Ice' groups hopes to be 'voice' for moderate Conservatives: co-founder

Published April 21, 2022 7:27 p.m. ET

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A new advocacy group dubbed “Centre Ice” hopes to be the voice of moderate Conservative Party of Canada members as the race for a new leader unfolds, says its co-founder.

In an interview on CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Thursday, Rick Peterson, a former leadership candidate, said there’s a “wide open” gap within Canada’s political sphere, currently unrepresented by any party, but ready to be energized.

“In our Conservative Party, at times, those of us who are in the moderate centre seem to be a little bit alienated or not seem to be welcome at times. But on the other hand, the Liberal party has opened up the centre given the fact that they’ve done this [confidence-and-supply agreement] with the NDP,” he said.

“There’s a very strong, robust group of Canadians, pragmatic Canadians in the middle, who are looking [for a] centrist approach.”

The Centre Ice group will officially launch its advocacy efforts next Wednesday.

Peterson said he’s got his eye on a few candidates who’ve already put up their names, such as Ontario MP Scott Aitchison, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, with strong moderate ideas.

“The lines are clear in the sense that there are leadership candidates in this leadership race who totally understand and subscribe to the fact that we need to expand the Conservative base to the centre,” Peterson said.

There are currently eight candidates who’ve met the first deadline to run in the race that caps off with a vote on Sept. 10.

Listen to Rick Peterson’s interview at the top of this article.

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