Erin O’Toole, former Conservative leader, leaving politics: ‘Honour of a lifetime’

Former Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole will not seek re-election and will resign from her seat at the end of the House of Commons’ spring session.

Durham’s 50-year-old MP said in a statement Friday that he will leave politics after more than a decade in federal politics, coinciding with the House’s scheduled summer vacation on June 23. .

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“Serving my community in parliament and having the privilege of serving the country as an opposition minister and leader has been a once-in-a-lifetime honor. I am grateful for the trust of the people of Durham,” he said. Told.

“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to advance issues that I believe are of great importance to our country, from veterans’ mental health to military readiness to nuclear energy to Arctic sovereignty and a variety of other important issues. I will continue to advance these interests and serve my voters until the end of this session.”

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O’Toole was first elected to Congress in the November 2012 by-election. He was Minister of State from 5 January 2015 to 4 November 2015.

He was elected leader of the Conservative Party on 24 August 2020 and remained in that position until 2 February 2022 when Conservatives voted to remove him. Ottawa MP Pierre Polivre was chosen to succeed him.

O’Toole’s dismissal follows the Conservative Party’s two consecutive losses in the last general election in 2021.

O’Toole ran his leadership campaign as a “blue” Conservative Party. This is his main contrast with rival and former Conservative minister Peter McKay.

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O’Toole has spoken of eliminating the Liberal Party’s carbon price in the leadership race — known within the Conservative Party as the ‘carbon tax’ for a decade — and O’Toole says as leader he needs to have a plan to put a price on pollution. talked about sex.

While leader O’Toole spoke of the Liberal Party’s runaway spending, O’Toole in the 2021 campaign promised a decade of deficit spending to match Trudeau’s own plans.

Most Conservative MPs were in favor of the policy shift, confident that O’Toole’s team saw it as a path to victory. When that victory didn’t materialize in the September 2021 general election and the party lost support in key regions and key constituencies, simmering anger began to boil publicly.

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When exiled, O’Toole said he had accepted the outcome and made parting comments about the direction of the party he would no longer lead.

“This country needs a Conservative Party that is both an intellectual force and a governing force. An ideology without power is empty. Seeking power with an ideology is arrogance,” O’Toole said at the time.

In a statement Friday, O’Toole said he knew the party would one day return to government.

“I know the Conservative Party is the party of the coalition and will provide our government with the hopes and ideas our country desperately needs,” he said.

“I will do all I can to help, but I will continue to satisfy my public life knowing that my efforts and ideas will continue to resonate.”

— with files from Alex Boutilier of Global News

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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