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Conservative Party’s new Leader Erin O’Toole, a “Regular Guy” or Canada’s Next Prime Minister


"I’m not famous, I’m not well known. I get things done. I don’t drop the ball and I’ve always fought for Canadians. I have no famous name. I just fight for Canadians. And after the pandemic, with record deficits, with the challenges we face in the world, we need a fighter. I think we’re tired of a directionless, divisive and ethically challenged liberal government.” Erin O’Toole,  Durham MP, Leader of Opposition.

Conservative Party has now elected Erin O’Toole with 57% of the vote on his second kick at the Can who defeated Peter MacKay to be sworn in as the new Conservative leader. 

On Monday during his first news conference since winning the leadership, O'Toole acknowledged that Canadians haven't always seen themselves reflected in the party.

"I'm going to change that," he said.

“I’m going to be a bit of a sea change for Canadians because you know what? I respect people even when I don’t agree with them,” he said.

O’Toole has positioned himself to be a pro-choice and gender equal Conservative MP. 

"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 three weeks ago or three generations ago, whether you're 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," he said.

"The party can't win an election without overwhelming support from social conservatives, but it can't win if it is unable to reach out more broadly," he said in an email to CBC.

“I’m not afraid to fight for things I believe in and I’m not afraid to respect people with a different point of view.”

“I have a clear track record on standing up for human rights whether it’s women, whether it’s the LGBT community. I won the leadership of the Conservative Party as a pro-choice Conservative MP, one that won with a strong mandate. That’s how I’m going to lead as the Leader of the Opposition and that’s how I will be as Prime Minister,” Mr. O’Toole told reporters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week requested a prorogation of Parliament until late September. When it returns a Throne Speech will trigger a confidence vote, and, depending on the outcome, possibly a general election. In a matter of months the new leader could find himself running to become prime minister.   

The throne speech is set for Sept. 23. The speech will lay out the government's post-pandemic plan and O'Toole wouldn't say whether he will support the Liberal's. 

“Justin Trudeau would rather play politics than do his job. Even now, with our country still in a crisis, he may be trying to trigger an early election,” he said. “Because of that, I may soon be asking Canadians for the chance to serve as prime minister, so we can get this country back on track.”

He accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of failing to look out for Canadians. “We will be proposing a vision of a stronger Canada: a more united and prosperous Canada.”

The problem with O’Toole is that most Canadians have no clue who he is. The Ontario corporate lawyer who spent 12 years in the airforce after high school before becoming an MP in 2012 also briefly held the Veterans Affairs portfolio in Stephen Harper’s government.

After hitting all the right notes with his speeches, Trudeau and his team would be better to have an election sooner rather than later.

A recent  poll, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, conducted before Erin O’Toole was chosen Sunday night/early Monday morning as the Conservative Party’s new leader found that if there were an election today, 38 per cent of decided voters said they’d support Trudeau’s Liberals, compared to 30 per cent for the Conservatives, 18 per cent for the NDP and six per cent for the Greens.

The 47-year-old’s resume is quite in contrast to Trudeau’s, who grew up famous and privileged.

“My wife Rebecca and I understand the challenges, fears, and hopes of middle class Canadians because we live them and have all our lives,” he explained.

“We know what it is like to save for your first home.We know what it is like to have to save for things like childcare, tuition, and family vacations.”

I'm in politics to defend the rights of Canadians to secure a brighter future." The liberal’s “Ottawa knows best” attitude has alienated many Canadians. 

"I have a track record of serving Canada and getting things done," he said.