Erin O’Toole Is New Conservative Leader

0
New Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole.

OTTAWA: Erin O’Toole is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. O’Toole won an emphatic victory over the main contender Peter MacKay early on Monday morning with the support of socially conservative members and the backing of most Conservatives in every part of the country except the Maritimes, He captured 59 percent of the vote and 57 percent of the weighted points up for grabs.

O’Toole secured his victory in the leadership race after three rounds of counting.

On the third and final ballot, O’Toole won 57 per cent of the votes, compared to 43 percent for Peter MacKay, O’Toole claimed victory after taking support from Leslyn Lewis, who finished with a strong performance but dropped off on the second ballot. The fourth candidate Derek Sloan dropped off after the first ballot.

O’Toole, 47, takes over as Official Leader of thre Opposition from Andrew Scheer who got elected in 2017 but failed to defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the 2019 election.

O’Toole was born in Montreal. He enrolled in the RCAF when he was 18 and attended the Royal Military College. He did basic training in Chilliwack, BC; got his wings in Winnipeg, MB; and served out of Halifax, NS. O’Toole participated in search and rescue missions as a tactical navigator. He is bilingual.

After 12 years of service, O’Toole retired from the military and spent the next decade working in the private sector as a corporate lawyer. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the True Patriot Love Foundation, a charity that serves veterans and military families across Canada.

He has been elected 3 times in Durham (2012 by- election, 2015 and 2019). He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade before becoming Minister of Veterans Affairs, a beleaguered file he successfully turned around within 10 months at the end of the Harper government.

For the last two years, he has served as Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs. O’Toole is married to Rebecca and they have two children, Mollie & Jack.

In his acceptance speech, O’Toole promised to work to unite the Conservative Party, champion Conservative values, and hold the Prime Minister to account.

Here is the full text of his speech: “What an honour. Thank you so much.Thank you to my friends – Leslyn Lewis, Derek Sloan, and of course to the Honourable Peter MacKay. Thank you for stepping up for our country. Congratulations for the campaigns you have run, for the ideas you have put forward, and for the Canadians you have recruited to our cause. Thank you for putting your name on the ballot. For leaving your families for weeks to travel all over this great country – whether on the ground or in a room of your house on hours of Zoom calls.

Thank you for talking to Canadians about our country, our party and ideas for a stronger future. Thank you for valuing the grassroots members of our movement.

I want to thank my incredible campaign team from coast to coast to coast! We have built an incredible team of passionate and patriotic Canadians. Your hard work led to this victory.
I also want to thank the volunteers for Peter, Leslyn and Derek. You worked incredibly hard and I look forward to all of us working together to build a stronger country with more opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

I would also like to thank Andrew and Jill Scheer and your family for your service and dedication to our party and our country. We will continue to work together for Canadians.
And of course, I want to thank my wife, Rebecca, for our children Mollie and Jack and all of my family and friends here tonight or watching at home for your love, advice and patience these nine months.

Most of all, thank you to the tens of thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast who voted for me. You put your faith in me to lead this historic party and I am honoured and humbled. I promise you, I will not let you down.

Today, you have given me a clear mission:
To unite our party.; To champion our conservative principles. To show Canadians what we know so well – that Justin Trudeau and his team are failing our great country.

We must continue to point out Liberal failings and corruption BUT we also must show Canadians our vision for a stronger, prosperous and more united Canada. Canada can – and must – do better and Conservatives will work hard to earn the trust and confidence of Canadians in the next election. Friends, now the real work begins.

We could be into an election campaign as soon as this fall. But as more than 260,000 passionate Conservatives have already shown in this record-breaking leadership amidst a pandemic – the Conservative Party will be ready for the next election. And we will win the
next election.

To the millions of Canadians that I am meeting tonight for the first time… Hello, I’m Erin O’Toole…. You are going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks. I want you to know that I am here to fight for you and your families.

Like millions of Canadians, Rebecca and I have been juggling a lot of jobs lately. With our kids at home, COVID has made us appreciate teachers more than ever before.

My mother, who passed away when I was 9, was a teacher. And, throughout my life, I have wished she was here to give me advice. Right now, I wish she were here to see her child succeed. But, I know she is here tonight because I can see her in my daughter who shares her name.

Thankfully, I have had my stepmother – also a teacher – to guide me to this very day. I am thankful she and my Dad are here with me tonight. My father John, inspired me into public service.

But like many teenagers, especially those who have lost a parent, I gave my dad a hard time growing up. He worked at General Motors for over 30 years, which brought us from Ste. Therese QC to Bowmanville, Ontario – to my home in the Toronto area.

After high school I joined the military to gain discipline and to serve the country. It deepened my love for Canada and defines who I am today. I served as a navigator on Sea King helicopters and sailed with our Navy out of Halifax. It was in Halifax where I met Rebecca, the love of my life.

Today, Rebecca and I are both navigating raising our amazing children Mollie and Jack – and 5 days ago we celebrated 20 years of marriage…

I have spent my entire adult life trying to serve Canada and its people. Soon, I will be asking Canadians for the chance to serve as Prime Minister so we can get our country back on track. I love this country and I am very worried about the course we are on.

When I launched my campaign in Calgary in January, I said that the stakes were high.

They are even higher today. Our country is currently facing its most serious economic challenges since the Great Depression. Capital and jobs have been leaving Canada and large deficits were being run BEFORE the COVID crisis led to record debt and deficits.

Our country is more divided than it has ever been in my lifetime. People are losing faith in Canada because of the ideological and out of touch policies from the Liberals.

We just emerged from the largest health crisis in our history. Premiers across our country have shown real leadership amid the COVID-19 crisis. They were looking out for you. Justin Trudeau, Bill Morneau and the Liberals showed – once again – that even amid a national crisis – they were more interested in looking after their friends. We can rebuild our great country – while protecting Canadians from the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

We can get Canadians back to work, be proud of the things we grow, build and produce in Canada again. We must have a government that will keep us safe, and ensure that we are never ill-prepared again. To do that, we need a leader with real-world experience and someone who is not afraid to make tough decisions.

A leader who cares more about keeping Canadians safe and united than about his personal image and the interests of his friends. We need a leader who puts Canadians first and will stand up for Canada and our interests in a challenging world where we have lost the respect of our friends and allies The world still needs more Canada, it just needs less Justin Trudeau.

Why should I be that leader? Because I believe that: Whether you are black, white, brown
or from any race or creed. Whether you are LGBT or straight. Whether you are an Indigenous Canadian or have joined the Canadian family 5 weeks ago or 5 generations ago.

Whether you are doing well, or barely getting by. Whether you worship on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or not at all. You are an important part of Canada and you have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada!

Maybe you have voted for a different party your whole life, or have never voted at all. Maybe you feel that as a union member you should not vote for our party. Maybe you feel let down by politicians.; Maybe your family came here for “better” but you are still waiting for “fair” treatment.

Maybe you run a small business and work all day only to be called a tax cheat by your government.

It is time for many Liberal and NDP voters to socially distance themselves from these out of touch parties. Its time for more Canadians to look at the Conservative Party again. If you want the opportunity to work hard to provide for your family – you should be voting Conservative.

If you want to stop insiders getting ahead while you are falling back – you should be voting Conservative. If you are proud of what we produce in this country – whether it is the resources in the ground or the ideas in our heads – you should be voting Conservative.

And if you believe deeply – like I do – that the Canadian Ethics Commissioner needs to stop working overtime – you should be voting Conservative! Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh
claim to stand up for working families, but they fail them time and time again. Canada needs serious leadership for these challenging times. To keep Canadians safe and prepared
for the future. To rebuild our economy. To navigate our way out of record Liberal deficits before they put our social programs at risk.

To ensure that we rebuild stronger, more self-reliant, and more resilient, so we are better prepared for future waves of COVID-19 and other threats. To restore Canada’s place in a tough world, earning back the respect that Trudeau has lost on the world stage.

That is what Conservatives stand for. Doing what is right even when it is not what is easy.
That is what Canadians stand for. It’s the same sense of duty that kept our healthcare workers and PSWs helping our sick in the early weeks of the pandemic when they were worried about risks to themselves and their families.

That same feeling when a family helps newcomers to Canada by opening up their own home and letting them get their start with help from family or friends in their community even when it makes things challenging.

That same feeling our soldiers must have felt at the bottom of Vimy Ridge more than a century ago.

It’s a belief in what Canada can be. It’s a belief in the hope and opportunity that Canada represents. My fellow Canadians.

My name is Erin O’Toole. I believe in this country and I am running to serve you as Prime Minister. Thank you, good night! Prime MinisterTrudeau tweeted: “ Congratulations on being elected leader of the Conservative Party, @ErinOTooleMP. I look forward to working together on the issues that matter most to Canadians across the country, and on making sure they have the support they need. Liberal party president Suzanne Cowan said in a statement.

“We hope Mr. O’Toole will reconsider continuing to push the same policies of Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer that he also proposed in this leadership campaign.

“They would take Canada backward by making harmful cuts to services that Canadians count on, weakening Canada’s gun control laws, rolling back our work to fight climate change, and much more.”