MP for Durham Erin O’Toole is entering the Conservative Party leadership race. O’Toole says he is best placed to lead the Conservative Party into the next election because of his experience in the military and his track record as a cabinet minister.
“We need to reconnect with more Canadians, we need to show Canadians that government can and must be more than sunny ways slogans and photo ops. We need to build on the strengths and successes of our past while actively seeking opportunities to win back the trust of Canadians.”
The Ontario MP, who most recently served as public safety critic in his party’s shadow cabinet, acknowledged that many Canadians might not yet recognize his name.
“Today, all I ask is that Canadians take the time to get to know me, and the Conservative team, a little better. We will be there for you and your families in 2019,” he said, referring to the next election. “I think Canadians did not vote for high deficits, higher taxes, and we’re going to remind them of that in a bit of a fresh way.”
The Ontario MP had previously run for the interim leadership of the Conservatives, but lost to Rona Ambrose.
“The interim leadership race was a great experience for me. The difference from that race, and this one, is I intend to win this one,” he said to laughs from supporters.
He has the backing of 10 sitting MPs, including Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo), Todd Doherty (Cariboo-Prince George), Blake Richards (Banff–Airdrie), Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton), Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon–Grasswood), James Bezan (Selkirk–Interlake–Eastman), Robert Sopuck, Dauphin–Swan River–Neepawa), Jamie Schmale (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock), John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil) and Colin Carrie (Oshawa).
O’Toole was first elected to the House of Commons in a 2012 by-election to replace Bev Oda, who resigned.