Regretfully, the Independent Press Gallery of Canada has had to cancel its planned Conservative leadership debate due to an insufficient number of candidates participating.
Our goal in hosting this debate was to give candidates the opportunity to address the important issues facing Canadians that are overlooked, ignored or misconstrued by the legacy media and in the official debates. This would give candidates the unique opportunity to speak directly to the growing number of Canadians, and especially Conservative party members, who don’t trust the legacy media and consume their news entirely from independent media.
Unfortunately, this vision of an independent debate did not come to fruition.
“I would like to personally thank Roman Baber, Jean Charest and Leslyn Lewis for confirming their attendance at the debate,” said journalist and IPG President Candice Malcolm. “It’s clear that their criticisms of the legacy media are authentic – and we truly value their commitment to independent media.”
“The federal government is unleashing a range of policies that affect independent media and freedom of speech, from Bill C-11 and C-18 to the potential return of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. It has never been more important to address the state and future of press freedom, especially for independent news sources who may soon fund themselves fending off government regulation,” said event organizer and True North journalist Andrew Lawton.
“We were hopeful candidates who claim to be fighting against these policies — and candidates who have been critical of the lens through which mainstream media outlets cover Conservatives — would welcome the opportunity to engage with independent media in this forum. Unfortunately, this was not the case,” said Lawton.
The IPG would like to apologize to the hundreds of people who purchased tickets to this debate. Full refunds will be issued in the coming days.
Founded in 2020, the IPG is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing and advocating for independent journalists free from government influence.