Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole


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" Our country is more divided than it has ever been in my lifetime,” he charged. It is less respected abroad, and seen as a risk among investors.

“People are losing faith in Canada because of the ideological and out of touch policies from the Liberals,” he said, adding in a sly dig: 

 

" The world still needs more Canada, it just needs less Justin Trudeau” 

 

O’Toole has an advantage MacKay didn’t enjoy. He already has a seat in the Commons, so, if it actually sits again before the Liberals manipulate the preferred moment to bring themselves down he will be able to bring immediate focus on their battered and beaten record, and have an opportunity to present the Conservative alternative in a forum offering maximum attention. Much as Trudeau has worked to marginalize Parliament and weaken it as a national institution, it provides the one place where leaders face one another on important issues and compete in what passes in Canada for open debate. 

Trudeau has spent six months running the country from his doorstep; he doesn’t like being questioned, he doesn’t like being challenged, and he’s not quite good enough an actor to mask how easily critics get under his skin. That’s why he likes the scheduled scripts, the organized press briefings, the stages that let him perform without interference. O’Toole will have to upset his applecart without turning off urban voters in the process. 

That means he better be planning to spend a lot of time in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, because those are the people he has to convince.

Canadians were tired enough of Trudeau to reduce him to a minority last year, and can hardly have been impressed with the stumbling performance since. Andrew Scheer, for all his terminal lack of charisma, drew more votes. A more engaging leader better skilled at deflecting Liberal target practice wouldn’t have to reinvent the world to gain ground with voters weary of the current regime. The country could find itself in an election very soon, O’Toole predicted, pledging the party will be ready. He had better be as well.

 

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/kelly-mcparland-courting-socons-gave-otoole-the-leadership-but-also-gives-the-liberals-ammunition

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Main Canadian opposition party picks new leader to challenge PM Trudeau

 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s main opposition Conservative Party on Monday elected Erin O’Toole, a former cabinet minister and armed forces veteran, to be its new leader and the primary challenger to Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

O’Toole replaces Andrew Scheer, who failed to unseat Trudeau in an election last year. The right-of-center party struggled in the populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec, which together account for 59% of seats in the House of Commons. O’Toole beat out the better known Peter MacKay, who co-founded the party in 2003 and was a high-profile member of former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, and two other candidates. While there is no vote looming, Trudeau needs the support of at least one of three opposition parties to stay in power, and a crucial confidence vote on the government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan is expected in late September. “The Conservative Party will be ready for the next election and we will win the next election,” O’Toole said in his acceptance speech, delivered early in the morning after hours of technical delays. O’Toole, a 47-year-old father of two, describes himself as a “true blue Conservative” and has vowed to “put Canada first” while helping families and the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis. The Liberals quickly accused O’Toole of “wanting to take Canada backward”. This, it said in a statement to supporters, “would mean making harmful cuts to services that Canadians count on, rolling back our work to fight climate change, weakening Canada’s gun control laws, and much more”. Trudeau will face at least two confidence votes this year but looks set to survive with support from the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP). Support for the Liberals surged as the government spent hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency aid during the pandemic, but they have lost ground in recent weeks amid an ethics scandal involving Trudeau and his former finance minister, Bill Morneau. Liberals would get 36.4% of the votes if an election were held today, while the Conservatives would win 29.9%, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s (CBC) poll tracker, an aggregate of recent surveys. One of O’Toole’s challenges will be to lure back voters in urban centers such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, which were Liberal strongholds in the past two national elections. “And the winner is Justin Trudeau,” tweeted Karl Belanger, the NDP’s former national director. O’Toole promised to defund the CBC, the public broadcaster, crack down on crime and cut taxes. In his speech, O’Toole reached out to left-leaning voters, saying there was room for them in the party. The son of a retired Ontario politician, O’Toole was first elected in 2012 and served as veterans affairs minister from February to November 2015. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at 18, working as a helicopter navigator before transferring to the Canadian Forces reserves. He then trained and practiced as a lawyer. 
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"O’Toole promised to defund the CBC."    Please, please, please!  This single thing alone is enough reason, more than enough reason, to support the man.

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Don Martin: Erin O'Toole is a Conservative leader who definitely needs an introduction

Published Monday, August 24, 2020 10:56AM EDT
Erin O'Toole

Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Erin O'Toole makes his opening statement at the start of the French Leadership Debate in Toronto on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

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OTTAWA -- “Erin Who?” steals an oldie headline from the Joe Clark era, but it’s a goodie, now that Conservatives have voted in a leader whose name triggers a furrowed brow for average Canadian reaction.

Within the Conservative party he now leads, MP Erin O’Toole is well-known and liked.

But in the real world he needs to conquer next, with mere months before a possible general election, he’s a blank canvas.

That presents a problem -- and an opportunity.

The Conservative candidate who embraced a harder-right, truer-blue, left-is-radical campaign narrative has a difficult choice to make.

Was he acting out the role to win the race and will now reset to moderate-middle leadership?

Or will that narrower vision of conservativism and his political indebtedness to social conservatives dominate the party’s electoral messaging, making the big winner last night a prime minister named Chrystia Freeland, oops, Justin Trudeau?

If the Conservatives heard the hint in the 2019 election that their party needs a wider, deeper urban Central Canada base to win, they ignored it by voting in O’Toole over the safer choice in the now-completely-finished-in-politics Peter MacKay.

O’Toole’s campaign harkened back to a Canadian Alliance mindset while opening empathetic arms to social conservatives he would need for second or third-choice support as progressive balloting went on.

It was a daring strategy that worked like a charm.

The members who felt MacKay was too soft on the fundamentals, expanding too far into the mushy middle for their comfort, gave O’Toole a surprisingly strong first ballot opening which grew with social conservative help while MacKay’s support stagnated.

For O’Toole, the first priority now is obvious. People need to get to know him in a hurry in case there’s a fall election triggered by Trudeau’s Throne Speech next month.

And knowing him means knowing precisely where he stands on abortion files, his climate change fighting plan and which tricky policy path through the pandemic he’ll take to rein in spending while retaining a strong safety net for COVID-19 casualties.

He also has to elevate impressive third-place finisher Leslyn Lewis to a prominent influencer role within the party without making her abortion views an albatross around the party’s electoral neck.

The Erin O’Toole I’ve known since his byelection win in 2012 is an intelligent, friendly-faced and articulate politician who could attract a wider following given time to gel.

That was the easy-going moderate MP who finished third in the 2017 leadership race.

The unsmiling version who thundered against the left from a harder-right pulpit in the 2020 race was not that same person.

Which Erin O’Toole emerges as his leadership takes root will decide the fate of the Conservative party in the next election.

Played correctly, O’Toole can beat a Team Trudeau saddled with ethical lapses, pandemic missteps and benches filled with underproducing players.

But if the new boss is merely the same as the old boss, the Conservatives will once again miss scoring on an open net.

 
 
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O’Toole says Conservatives would not do deals with China as he lays out economic priorities
 

 

Newly minted Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said Tuesday that China is a “predatory” country as he laid out his intentions for his party and bid to become prime minister.

Mr. O’Toole said his party has a plan to rebuild Canada while protecting them from the novel coronavirus. “We will trade freely with free nations and not spend our time chasing trade deals with predatory countries like communist China,” he said at his first news conference as leader of the Conservative Party.

The country needs a fighter because “everything is not okay,” he added. Mr. O’Toole said that Canadians are losing their jobs, homes and hope, noting they are worried about what might happen during a second wave of COVID-19.

He was asked repeatedly about his views on social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and he described himself as pro-choice and said he supports LGBTQ people. Mr. O’Toole said “a lot of Liberal spin” about him has already begun.

Mr. O’Toole won the leadership Sunday night in the third round of balloting after securing the ranked-ballot votes of many supporters of Leslyn Lewis, a Toronto lawyer and social conservative who placed third in the race. Former cabinet minister Peter MacKay placed second, and Conservative MP Derek Sloan was fourth.

 

Mr. O’Toole laid out some of his priorities, saying that as prime minister he would lead a government that rebuilds the economy and creates long-term jobs with ambitious projects. He said he will propose programs that will make it easier for people to “get ahead.” He also spoke about national unity and the need to support the resources sector to alleviate the feeling of alienation in Western Canada.

The new leader could find himself running to become prime minister in a matter of months – if not weeks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week requested a prorogation of Parliament until late September, and when it returns a Throne Speech will trigger a confidence vote, and, depending on the outcome, possibly a general election.

Mr. O’Toole would not say how he intends to vote on the Throne Speech, saying it will be discussed in the future. However, he said because of that, he may soon ask Canadians for the chance to serve as prime minister “so we can get this country back on track.” 

Mr. O’Toole was asked whether he has identified supporting roles for his leadership opponents and he said he has reached out to Ms. Lewis and Mr. MacKay. He was to speak with them later Tuesday. He said he and Mr. Sloan had some “very stark differences,” although adding they had some areas of overlap, such as their concern about China.

He was also asked about whether Mr. Sloan should be expelled for comments he made in the leadership race. Mr. O’Toole said during the race, there are “pressures” and fights but that it’s over and they are “united as a party now.”

In April, Mr. Sloan refused to apologize after questioning Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam’s loyalty to the country, asking in a Facebook video: “Does she work for Canada or for China?” He later said his comments were “deliberately” mischaracterized by the Liberals.

Mr. O’Toole also unveiled senior members of his staff in a news release. Tausha Michaud, a long-time political staffer, has been named Mr. O’Toole’s chief of staff. Ms. Michaud formerly served as Mr. O’Toole’s senior adviser when he was minister of veterans affairs.

Fred DeLorey is now Mr. O’Toole’s national campaign manager. Mr. DeLorey had managed Mr. O’Toole’s leadership bid. Previously, he was Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s director of field operations, and before that he worked for former prime minister Stephen Harper as director of political operations, and as national spokesperson for the Conservative Party in the 2011 election.

Former Conservative MP Alupa Clarke has been appointed Mr. O’Toole’s senior adviser. Mr. Clarke was Mr. O’Toole’s leadership campaign chair in Quebec and he previously served with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Mr. O’Toole has nominated Janet Fryday Dorey to become executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada. She was formerly the president of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party and is currently the Atlantic organizer for the party. The position of executive director has to be ratified by the party’s National Council.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-otoole-says-conservatives-would-not-do-deals-with-china-as-he-lays/

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The fear mongering about Canadians losing their homes doesn't seem to have traction with reality.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/canadian-real-estate-association-says-home-sales-hit-record-high-in-july-1.1481072

And while the economy did take a hit in April and May, our government did a good job of keeping the ship steady and things have stabilized and are turning around.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/economy/article-canadian-economy-added-419000-jobs-in-july-marking-third-month-of/

Mr. O'toole will have a rough road to drive if he decides on running a doom and gloom platform.

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mind you the mob did not behead the statue.  The head became detached when it hit the ground.  but spin is however it works for you.

 

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When campaigning to become the prime minister in 2015, Justin Trudeau was asked what country he most admired. The people in attendance at the event looked on in disbelief when he stated that he most admired China. His reason? Trudeau believed China’s “basic dictatorship” allowed its government to move swiftly to implement its agenda.

Trudeau’s obsession with China should not come as a surprise. For decades, many Canadian corporate and financial insiders were espousing deeper and closer ties with China at all costs. They were willing to look past the Chinese government’s numerous human rights abuses, flagrant trade abuses and security issues because the potential to sell into the massive Chinese market was so lucrative.

I will soon be asking Canadians to trust me to be their next prime minister. I will say right up front that the country I admire most is the one I have dedicated my life to serving: Canada. But Canadians deserve to know where I stand on China.

We must be sure that Canadians realize that our political differences with the Communist government in China has nothing to do with the country of China, or its people. 

Excellent!

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/erin-otoole-as-prime-minister-i-will-stand-up-to-china

 

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look, like it or not China is a necessary evil.

China spends a lot of money educating their people to perform high tech manufacturing on a scale that nowhere else can equal.  Even low tech manufacturing on immense scales. 

Setting aside any perceived or actual human rights violations, China has set itself up as a manufacturing powerhouse, with which no one else can complete, in almost every sector from Textile to high tech.  They do it big and, like it or not, do it well.  they also do it CHEAP.

So, sure we could stand up to china and bring manufacturing back on shore however the hit to the GDP would be huge because we could never match scale and cost with China. Everything would become hugely expensive.  We need to be careful what we wish for, especially in Canada where we already pay more for goods than in other countries.

Now some of you will say China makes Crap products.  Well you are partly correct.  North American and European companies that engineer products and contract Chinese manufacturers to make the product, have complete control over the standards to which the product is made and the componentes used.  Generally high quality,   Chinese "knock offs" are usually made from cheap or substandard parts and are of low quality.  These are the chinese products to avoid.

Like it or not we need a relationship with china,  we cannot afford not to.

 

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It was under 'conservative' leadership of Reagan and Mulroney that the shift to globalisation really happened.  NAFTA was the start for North America, and American corporations gave away their manufacturing to the third world for bigger profits.  They then sat back and let the rest slip away.

It is fortunate for China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the rest that they were smart enough to see the opportunity and they educated their citizens to a higher standard and are moving forward with STEM teaching.  They are now the true world leaders.

The U.S. let it slide while they were counting their money, now they don't have the intelligence or wherewithal to work their way back so they just point fingers.

As it states in the article I posted in another thread, each age has it's leader.  The Portuguese, Dutch, French and English all had their time as world leaders.  The 20th century belonged to the U.S.  They have now let it slip away and it is the time that China is taking up the mantel.

As boestar said, we cannot afford to make the same mistakes as the U.S. and let opportunity slip away while pining for the past.  We need to remain progressive.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/covid-19-end-of-american-era-wade-davis-1038206

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Election speculation season begins with main contenders in dead heat

September 2, 2020 – Exactly three weeks from a scheduled re-opening of Parliament with a Speech from the Throne that may ultimately trigger a fall election, the latest public opinion data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds the Liberal and Conservative Parties of Canada in a tie, with 35 per cent of decided voters each indicating they’d cast a ballot either for the incumbents or the official opposition.

This represents a small but perceptible four-point rise in fortunes for the CPC since May. The Liberals have largely survived the WE Scandal – for now – emerging over the same period of time two points lower than where they stood with the electorate in the spring.

The results of this poll of more than 5,000 Canadian adults suggests two strong undercurrents continue to pull and push against the other. The first: a committed and motivated Conservative base united in its desire to consign the Trudeau government to the annals of Canadian politics. The second: Liberal dominance in vote-rich Ontario and Canada’s big cities, places the CPC must be able to make inroads in order to win a general election.

Into this environment comes new CPC leader Erin O’Toole, tasked with convincing the centre-left he is an appealing choice – something his predecessor Andrew Scheer failed to do. O’Toole has room to grow, as significant numbers of non-CPC voters say they have yet to make up their mind about him.

http://angusreid.org/federal-politics-september-2020/

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Striking a pose: Canada and the politics of statues
 Aaron Wherry 8 hrs ago

In politics, all debates about the past are really about the present and the future.

So it is with Conservative leader Erin O'Toole's concern for the nation's statues — which is really about the leadership of Justin Trudeau and, ultimately, how this country ought to move forward.

The nation's supply of statues is by no means perfect. Just seven prime ministers have been honoured with statues on Parliament Hill; the most recent was Lester B. Pearson, who left office in 1968.

But O'Toole's worries about the possible erasure of history have not led him to campaign for a statue of Pierre Trudeau. Instead, he's focused his attention on the recent toppling of a statue of John A. Macdonald in Montreal.

After the first prime minister's likeness was pulled down last month, O'Toole tweeted his objections and called on unnamed "politicians" to "grow a backbone and stand up for our country." In a subsequent video message, he condemned "lawlessness," "violence" and "mob rule." O'Toole then raised his concerns again on Wednesday during a speech to Conservative MPs in Ottawa.

This is not a new focus for O'Toole. Two years ago, he criticized a decision by the city council in Victoria to remove a statue of Macdonald from City Hall.

History with a political spin
O'Toole prefaced his latest comments by noting that he and his fellow Conservatives were meeting in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building. But that was less of a poetic coincidence and more of a handy reminder that Canadian politicians are rarely apolitical when they invoke history. In this case, Macdonald's name was given to the former Bank of Montreal building by Stephen Harper's Conservative government in 2012. (Pierre Poilievre dressed up in period costume for the announcement.)

That commemoration was announced a year after the Conservatives renamed Ottawa's old City Hall to honour another Conservative prime minister, John Diefenbaker. Months before that, John Baird reportedly insisted that his business cards as foreign minister not include the name of the place in which he worked — the Lester B. Pearson Building.

One possible explanation for O'Toole's interest in statues can be found in survey results released by Leger Marketing a few hours before he addressed his caucus. According to Leger's findings, 50 per cent of Canadians oppose the removal of statues of politicians who expressed racist views or implemented racist policies, while just 31 per cent support removing such statues (the other 19 per cent are undecided).

Opposition is highest among Conservative voters (80 per cent). So while O'Toole moderates his party's position on fiscal policy, statues might provide him with a culture war rallying cry for the Conservative base.

An issue with cross-party appeal
Sticking up for Sir John A. might also appeal to some of the voters O'Toole's party needs to form a government. Fifty-six per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters also oppose the removal of controversial statues, while Liberal voters are evenly split — 41 per cent opposed, 41 per cent in favour.

Rather than tearing down statues of people like Macdonald, O'Toole has said such memorials should include inscriptions that recognize both the good and bad aspects of their lives and work. He joked (somewhat curiously) that such a plaque could be added to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. (As Sen. Murray Sinclair told the National Observer, Macdonald's misdeeds and Trudeau's faults don't seem analogous.)

But O'Toole's concern for statues — and his suggestion that Trudeau isn't doing enough to stand up for them — seems like an extension of a critique Conservatives began building three years ago.

Justin Trudeau wearing a suit and tie: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2017.© Richard Drew/Associated Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2017.
In September 2017, Trudeau went to the United Nations and used Canada's speaking slot at the General Assembly to discuss this country's mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and the need for reconciliation.

Six weeks later, the Conservative Party sent a fundraising pitch to supporters that claimed Trudeau was "travelling abroad to places like the UN General Assembly to denigrate our country, and diminish Canada's great achievements." The email pointed to a speech made days earlier by then-leader Andrew Scheer in which he lamented that it's "fashionable today to look down at the past."

Facing up to the past
"If we look back at our rich history and study the leading figures in its telling and see only the blemishes, then we are missing out on the beautiful story of a country constantly bettering itself," Scheer said, arguing that anyone living in Canada today would have to agree that this country has been the best place in the world to live for the past 150 years.

Many people past and present — Indigenous peoples, Black Canadians, the poor — might disagree. Liberals no doubt would object to the suggestion that they only see the grimmer aspects of Canada's history.

But Trudeau certainly has aligned himself with the idea that it's important for a society to acknowledge and understand its mistakes — that facing up to the injustices of the past is a necessary part of righting wrongs and building a more just society.

If Conservatives don't entirely reject that thinking (it was Stephen Harper, after all, who launched the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and officially apologized for residential schools), they're at least willing to appeal to anyone who is uncomfortable with the idea, or with Trudeau's approach to it.

But there surely would be less interest in toppling statues of John A. Macdonald today if the basic injustice he propagated and advanced had been fully corrected by now — if the sins of the past had given way to a truly just present. And what leaders do to achieve reconciliation and social justice now surely will matter more than how they feel about statues.

Trudeau's record in those areas can be debated. O'Toole has expressed some interest in Indigenous reconciliation but the proposals contained in his leadership platform were primarily framed around economic issues.

The next several months could be instructive. Before the pandemic, the Trudeau government was committed to pursuing action on a number of fronts, including new legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Liberals have since promised to come forward with a plan to combat systemic racism.

O'Toole, who has expressed misgivings about the UN declaration already, presumably will have to take a position on whatever the Liberals come up with and then explain what, if anything, he would do differently.

Such stuff might lack the spectacle and intensity of arguments about statues and history. But if future generations decide they want to see any of today's leaders cast in bronze, it will be because of what they did to improve the present and the future — not how they felt about commemorating the past.

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