OTTAWA – Conservative members looked for steadiness Monday in choosing Erin O’Toole as leader after a crusade where he concentrated on keeping the gathering near its “true blue” fundamentals.
O’Toole made sure about his triumph in the administration race after three rounds of tallying.
The outcomes had been normal Sunday night however were postponed into the early long stretches of Monday morning after issues opening the envelopes containing a few thousand of the assessed 175,000 ballots sent in by mail.
“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,” O’Toole said in his victory speech.
“But I want you to know from the start that I am here to fight for you and your family.”
His victory over rival Peter MacKay could spell the end of MacKay’s political career. It is also likely to immediately raise questions about the future for progressive Conservatives in the party, who hoped that with MacKay, the party could finally move past the debates around social conservative issues.
In a message on social media, MacKay offered his congratulations to O’Toole after the hard-fought campaign.
“It’s now time for our (Conservative) party and movement to come together, and to focus on what’s most important: ensuring our country gets moving in the right direction again,” he said.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who had endorsed O’Toole, called Lewis a friend and said her showing in the campaign remarkable.
“Leslyn has broken through many barriers to become a significant voice in Canadian political life. I hope and expect to see great things from her in the future!” he wrote on Twitter early Monday.
In the first round, Lewis beat out both O’Toole and MacKay in Saskatchewan and placed second to O’Toole in Alberta, a reflection of her ability to connect strongly with the grassroots there.
With none of the four candidates hailing from the West, all eyes had been on how the party’s western base would voice its concerns over the candidates and the campaigns in the vote.
O’Toole spoke to them, to voters in Quebec, and to all prospective Conservative voters in his speech Monday morning, saying that no matter a person’s race or religion, sexual orientation, how long they’ve been in Canada, income level or education, they matter.
“You are an important part of Canada and you have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada,” he said.
The Liberals congratulated O’Toole but also warned him.
“We have a real chance to build a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener, fairer, and more competitive, and while we will have our differences, we hope the Conservative leader will join us in that work,” party president Suzanne Cowan said in a statement.
“We also 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.”
Photo credit: Justin Tang/CP
News source: The Canadian Press