In the wake of the upcoming Conservative Party of Canada leadership election, Chicago-based conservative youth organization Turning Point USA has announced a groundbreaking expansion into Canada.
Several Turning Point staffers with extensive knowledge of the new project spoke exclusively to The Liberty Conservative regarding it.
Joshua Thifault, Advancement Director at Turning Point USA, said TP Canada’s launch was spurred by popular demand: “Turning Point Canada came about because so many Canadian students asked us to make resources available to them.”
Thomas Hern, Deputy National Field Director at Turning Point USA and one of the main organizers of this expansion told us that while Turning Point acknowledged the Canadian market for conservative youth organizations was less competitive than in the United States, they would largely seek to pursue the same formula that had yielded success for them in the US, while adding some variations where necessary to factor in political differences between Canada and the United States.
Thifault stated that Turning Point Canada would seek to “make it something special,” adding, “this isn’t about selling more soft drinks. This is about changing as many hearts and minds as possible.”
Hern added that whilst Turning Point Canada’s activites would be largely directed by TP’s Chicago headquarters in the coming months, over time, the organization would seek to transition towards a fully fledged Canadian leadership and donor base.
Jonas LeBlanc-Wilmink, who is currently serving as Vice Chair of Turning Point Canada, elaborated further, noting “we are working closely with a TP USA liaison, but we will be creating much of our own content as well as using the general conservative messages that TP USA has created.”
Hern also drew parallels between the rise of Donald Trump in the United States and the growing movement behind Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary north of the border, and stated that as well as supplying resources, Turning Point would seek to hold their own events in Canada further down the line, much like their US parent organization frequently does across the country.
When asked whether this was part of a greater international expansion project, Thifault replied that he was “not sure yet,” but noted “I wouldn’t be surprised if the simple free market/limited gov’t message promoted by TP USA makes it into multiple countries. We’re seeing a massive global trend away from excessive control and towards personal freedom, especially amongst millennials.” Hern concurred, stating that while there were no plans at the moment, the organization was not ruling out using TP Canada as a model for new projects in the years to come.