OTTAWA — The deadline to enter the Conservative leadership race is nearly half a year away, but the list of potential candidates is still growing as MPs look ahead to a caucus retreat in Halifax later this month.
Here is the latest list of who is in and who is still thinking about it.
Kellie Leitch. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon, first elected as an MP in 2011, was the first to file her paperwork in April.
Maxime Bernier. The Quebec MP and former cabinet minister registered a few days after Leitch and has already outlined several key policy positions.
Michael Chong. The Ontario MP is a longtime champion of democratic reform.
Tony Clement. Also from Ontario, the former cabinet minister is trying again after losing to Stephen Harper for leadership of the party in 2004.
Still working on it:
Deepak Obhrai. One of the longest-serving Conservative MPs, he told his caucus colleagues earlier this summer that he plans to join the race.
Brad Trost. The social-conservative Saskatchewan MP first declared his interest in running for the top job after the party dropped a policy widely seen as opposing same-sex marriage at its convention in May.
Andrew Saxton. The defeated Vancouver-area MP is exploring a bid based on a desire to ensure a candidate from B.C., where he and his family have long lived.
Pierre Lemieux. Also defeated in the last election, the former eastern Ontario MP sent an email to supporters last month to let them know he is trying to raise the money needed to join the race so that he can champion social-conservative values.
Adrienne Snow. A Toronto-based communications consultant, Snow was previously involved in several policy think-tanks.
Andrew Scheer. The former Speaker of the House of Commons is expected to join the race soon after the Conservative caucus holds its retreat.
Lisa Raitt. The former cabinet minister and current MP from the Greater Toronto Area is expected to make an announcement later this month.
Thinking about it:
Peter MacKay. The former cabinet minister from Nova Scotia now working as a lawyer in Toronto has long been considering a run and said this week he is “seriously getting close” to make a decision.
Erin O’Toole. After saying no to the idea for months, the Ontario MP and former veterans affairs minister is now reconsidering that choice after some party pressure.
Steven Blaney. The Quebec MP continues to consult colleagues about whether he should mount a bid.
Kevin O’Leary. The popular TV personality and businessman first mused about running for the leadership earlier this year, but also said he is in no rush to make up his mind.
Dan Lindsay. The former president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba formed a committee in the spring to explore a possible campaign.
Candice Bergen. The Manitoba MP who helped lead the push to dismantle the long-gun registry said this week she is leaving the door open to a potential bid.