Erin_O'Toole Conservative Canada leader

Erin O’Toole is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

Quebec put this Montreal-born candidate over the top.

The results of the race to run the Conservative Party of Canada have been tabulated and after a delay of almost five hours due to a mechanical error, and a wait for the results of second and third ballots, it’s finally been announced that Erin O’Toole is the new leader. He beat out competitors Peter MacKay, Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan.

Born in Montreal, Erin O’Toole has been the MP representing Durham, Ontario since 2012 and served as the Minister of Veterans Affairs under Stephen Harper in 2015. According to a profile in Maclean’s, O’Toole has appealed to the socially conservative wing of the party during this campaign, but he is known to be pro-choice, not opposed to gay marriage and he voted in favour of transgender rights back in 2013. He is not a climate-change-denier, but is as beholden to the oil and gas sector as any Conservative candidate. Read more about his stance on these and other issues here.

The leadership race was prompted by former Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer announcing his departure in December after losing the federal election in late October, and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wake of the WE Charity scandal, the CPC has been eager to install a new leader in the hopes of triggering a no-confidence vote and an election in the fall to bring down Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government. Trudeau has prorogued (ie. shut down) Parliament for about two months amid talk of a snap election, a move last seen over a decade ago with the Harper government — one that was heavily criticized (but was done under very different circumstances). ■

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