Our Party

Over five centuries, our party and its many historical antecedents have been a force for peace, reconciliation, nation-building, the rule of law, education, culture, trade and economic opportunity.  Here are a few of the reasons why I’m a Conservative.




With the Cavaliers, Tories sided with the crown in the English Civil War.  Originally a term of abuse (tóraí in Irish Gaelic means ‘outlaw’), Tories resisted Cromwell’s subjugation of Ireland in 1649-50.  After the Restoration, they upheld the right of James II, a Catholic, to succeed his brother, King Charles II.

The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) ended nearly a quarter century of warfare between Britain and France.  When Queen Anne died in 1714, Lord Bolingbroke, the Tory minister who negotiated the peace, took refuge in Paris at the court of King Louis XIV, where the son of the deposed King James II was also in exile.  For the next 45 years Tories were proscribed from holding public office in Britain.



Ancien Régime

From 1663 to 1760 New France was governed by a Sovereign or Superior Council of nine to sixteen officials.  At the end of French rule, “the exercise of the Catholic (…) religion (was) maintained”.  The accession of King George III in 1760 made Tories again eligible to hold office.  The Québec Act (1774) restored French civil law and removed religious tests from the oath of allegiance, allowing Catholics to hold office.




In 1783 tens of thousands of Loyalists, refugees from the American Revolution where they were often dubbed ‘Tories’, began arriving in Nova Scotia, St. John’s Island (later Prince Edward Island) and Québec.  In response, New Brunswick and Cape Breton Island became separate colonies; the Canada Act established Lower and Upper Canada.  By 1792 British North America had five elected assemblies.




In 1806 the Canadian Party, under Jean-Antoine Panet, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard and others, began to champion equal rights, parliamentary institutions and responsible government.  In 1844 William Henry Draper formed a government with joint premier Denis-Benjamin Viger, a former member of the Canadian Party; in 1853 its members formed the Liberal-Conservative Party.

In 1867, this Party made Canada a self-governing country by enacting Confederation under the leadership of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Leonard Tilley and many others.


The Great War

Conservative governments led Canada during the First World War, the Paris Peace Conference and the enactment of the Statute of Westminster.  But Conservative and Progressive Conservative Parties were out of office from 1935 to 1957.




One Canada

Prime Minister Diefenbaker mobilized the Commonwealth against apartheid, ended discrimination in immigration and adopted the Canadian Bill of Rights.  Ellen Fairclough became the first woman and Michael Starr the first Ukrainian-Canadian to serve as Cabinet Ministers.




National Unity

In 1972 Robert Stanfield nearly defeated P-E Trudeau: Joe Clark did so in 1979, becoming Canada’s youngest-ever prime minister.  Lincoln Alexander was the first Black Canadian MP and Cabinet Minister.




Free Trade

Prime Minister Mulroney signed the historic Canada-US Free Trade Agreement in 1988.  Prime Minister Kim Campbell was the first woman to lead Canada; Jean Charest the first federal Conservative leader to become Premier of Quebec.



Conservative Party of Canada

The Reform Party of Canada became the Canadian Alliance before uniting with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the Conservative Party of Canada in 2003.  Our legacy parties renewed Canada’s reputation for strong economic management, democratic reform, rule of law and accountability in government.




From 2006 to 2015 Prime Minister Harper led the most successful Conservative government since Macdonald, delivering unprecedented job creation, new market access, immigration and financial stability.  Under Interim Leader Rona Ambrose, our Party is preparing to be the first choice of Canadians once again in 2019.