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OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — At least eight candidates reached the first deadline to run in the leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) by submitting an initial $50,000 deposit along with all completed paperwork.

Making the first April 19 cut-off were CPC MPs Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis, Marc Dalton, and Scott Aitchison.

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest and past CPC MP Leona Alleslev also made the deadline, as did Patrick Brown, the Mayor of Brampton, Ontario, and independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber.

As reported by the National Post, Wayne Benson, who serves as a CPC executive, said that he anticipates more packages will be forthcoming, meaning there could be more than eight candidates to make the first cut.

Businessman Joseph Bourgault, who is looking to run as well, said, as reported in the National Post, that he has submitted the first $50,000 to enter the race.

By April 29, candidates must hand in their nomination papers with 500 signatures from party members along with the remainder of fees, which total $300,000.

Those who make the April 29 cut-off will be asked to attend a May 5 leaders’ debate, which will be held in Ottawa.

There will be a leaders’ debate on May 11 in Edmonton, Alberta, followed by a French debate on May 25 in Montreal.

Another debate might take place in August; however, this remains to be confirmed.

Campaign Life Coalition gives Lewis a “green light” rating as a “supportable” pro-life candidate for her strong voting record in favor of life.

CLC recently endorsed Dalton as well as Bourgault as pro-life and pro-family candidates.

Poilievre has a “red light” rating for his voting record regarding abortion. However, he, like Lewis, has come out strongly against federal COVID vaccine mandates.

Charest has a poor voting record regarding life issues, and Brown has also been red-flagged by CLC.

The winner of the CPC leadership race will be announced September 10.