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Conservative leadership event going ahead as planned during period of mourning

The Conservative Party of Canada announced Friday that it’s going ahead with the planned leadership event that will name the party’s new leader — even though the country is in the midst of a period of national mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

In a statement, Ian Brodie, the chair of the party’s leadership election organizing committee (LEOC), said the results of the months-long campaign will be unveiled at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre sometime after 6 p.m. ET. on Saturday.

But, Brodie said, there will be “a revised program that reflects the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.”

A spokesperson for the party said the event will be “more sombre” and that there will not be “the big party atmosphere originally planned.”

For example, the party has cancelled the “big confetti guns” that are normally deployed when a new leader takes the stage to address members and the country after being elected.

“The tone of the speeches will be changed somewhat and we will open with a tribute to Her Majesty. You should probably expect to see more black attire than had originally been envisioned,” the spokesperson, Yaroslav Baran, told CBC News. 

There are five candidates vying for the top job: Conservative MPs Scott Aitchison, Pierre Poilievre and Leslyn Lewis, former Quebec premier Jean Charest and former Ontario MPP Roman Baber.

The party’s leadership event will take place on the same day that the Accession Council is expected to meet at St James’s Palace in London, where Charles will be formally proclaimed monarch.

The United Kingdom’s Parliament is also expected to meet that night so that MPs can swear allegiance to King Charles III and express condolences for the Queen’s death.

Memorial events planned throughout Canada

Following the Queen’s death on Thursday, the Canadian government initiated a 10-day period of mourning to mark the monarch’s remarkable seven-decade reign.

A series of commemorative ceremonies, memorial parades and other local events are planned throughout the country.

conservative leadership event going ahead as planned during period of mourning
Parliament Hill is bathed in purple light and the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II is projected on the Peace Tower following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in Ottawa, on Thursday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

There will be a ceremony at Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral on the same day of the former Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, which is likely to be held on Sept. 19.

The flag is to be flown at half-mast on all federal buildings and establishments in Canada and abroad, including the Peace Tower, until sunset on the day of the funeral service.

The government will also be less active during this period.

A spokesperson for the Privy Council Office (PCO), the department that serves the prime minister and cabinet, told CBC News that “government communication and ministerial activities will be decreased” during the mourning period.

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