The Conservative Party of Canada has a new leader, and it’s Erin O’Toole.
O’Toole is a three-time Conservative MP representing the riding of Durham in Ontario.
O’Toole was first elected in a 2012 byelection.
Prior to entering politics, O’Toole was in the Royal Canadian Air Force for a decade. He later worked as a lawyer.
O’Toole clinched the leadership post on August 23, 2020. He replaced Andrew Scheer.
O’Toole ran a campaign to “rebuild our nation to make us more prosperous, more secure, more resilient and more independent than ever before”.
“Our country is currently facing its most serious economic challenges since the Great Depression and the greatest risks to national unity and Canadian prosperity in our history,” according to O’Toole.
His platform stated that it is “time for a principled Canada of action”.
“It’s time to put Canada first,” O’Toole promised.
In his victory speech in the early morning of August 24, O’Toole introduced himself to Canadians who have not voted Conservative before.
“To the millions of Canadians that are still up, that I’m meeting tonight for the first time: Good morning. I’m Erin O’Toole, you’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks and months, but I want you to know from the start that I’m here to fight for you and your family,” O’Toole said in his first speech as leader.
O’Toole, 47, became the new leader after securing victory on the third ballot following a historic, months-long leadership campaign.
O’Toole defeated Peter MacKay, clinching 57 per cent of party support, after picking up down-ballot support from supporters of leadership contestants Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan.
In his speech, O’Toole said that there is a place in his party for all Canadians, regardless of race, religion, economic standing, education or sexual orientation.
The Conservatives has 121 MPs in the House of Commons.
There is talk of a snap election coming in the fall.