So, I will (as always) be honest: Like, I suspect, a fair number of conference-goers, with the leadership debate now behind us, the programme for second – and final – day seems a wee bit anticlimactic.
Not only is there no fourteen-way face-off to eagerly anticipate, but the candidates and their campaign teams are likely heading – or have already headed – back out onto the hustings, which will almost certainly reduce the size and volume of the crowd.
Still, according to the Day Two schedule, there are still some fairly crucial items of business on the C/conservative agenda, including:
- A discussion on the “future of Alberta conservatism” with Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt and Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Jason Kenney
- Advice on “dealing with deficits” from former Finance Minister Joe Oliver
- A rundown of the “digital winners and losers” from the US presidential election by Republican strategist Vincent Harris, who will also sit on an afternoon session on “taking the digital lead,” which will also feature commentary from Twitter Canada head of news Jennifer Hollett and NationBuilder senior community strategist Sorcha Rochfort
- A Q&A on “political communications in the age of social media” with journalists Vassy Kapelos (Global News) and Elamin Abdelmahmoud (Buzzfeed Canada) and former Global correspondent turned government relations advisor Tom Clark
- A live taping of the Mark Steyn Show, which will, according to the notice, include “a monologue by Mark, a one-on-one interview, and live musical entertainment,” courtesy of Tal Bachman.
- Breakout sessions on religious freedom (featuring former Religious Freedom Ambassador Andrew Bennett), censorship on campus, the “carbon pricing debate” and a roundtable chat on whether it’s “time to pull the plug” on Canada’s public broadcaster
I will, once again, be filing regular(ish) reports from the floor, so stay tuned.