Would-be Conservative leadership contenders grilled on their pasts

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OTTAWA — Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s past became a problem during the 2019 federal election, and those vying to replace him will be grilled about theirs.

Would-be candidates must complete a detailed questionnaire, and the 2020 version of the form includes a question the party didn’t ask during the last leadership race: has a candidate ever been accused of improper sexual behaviour?

The form also repeats a question about whether a candidate is a citizen of a country other than Canada — a subject that did become an issue for Scheer during the election campaign.

While the party and Scheer’s campaign team knew about his dual citizenship status, the public didn’t and questions about it dogged him for days.

What those other issues were — and how he handled them — were studied as part of an external review into the campaign conducted by former Conservative cabinet minister John Baird.

Scheer says he’s now received a copy of that report, but his spokesman says it will not officially be made public.

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