Erin O’Toole spends day one overseeing the transition, talking to PM and Scheer


Newly-elected Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole kicked off his first day as Leader of the Official Opposition today by discussing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau some of the issues the two leaders are expected to grapple with in the coming months. come.The couple spoke of national unity and discontent with the Liberals in Alberta and Saskatchewan who saw them excluded from both provinces in the last federal election, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office and a press release issued by O’Toole’s office.

“Mr. O’Toole made a point to raise Western alienation and called on Mr. Trudeau to present a plan to address the real and serious concerns of national unity in the Speech from the Throne,” said a statement issued by O’Toole’s office.

The PMO spokesperson also said that O’Toole and Trudeau, who spoke by phone, discussed funding for the pandemic and Trudeau’s decision to prorogue Parliament until September 23 – when the Liberals plan to return to the House of Commons with a new Speech from the Throne that will trigger a vote of confidence from MPs.

Until the House returns, parliamentary committees tasked with determining whether the Prime Minister had a role in awarding a contract to WE Charity to administer a $ 900 million scholarship program have been closed.

The statement from O’Toole’s office says he has raised with Trudeau the issue of resuming parliamentary committee inquiries into the WE Charity controversy as soon as possible. The prime minister’s office spokesperson said the committees are not chaired by the prime minister and would resume work after parliament returns, on their own schedule.

O’Toole spent the day working from his office in the West Block of the Parliamentary Precinct, where officials from his team met with representatives of the team of former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said Scheer and O’Toole continued their discussions over lunch.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also congratulated O’Toole and urged the federal party to rally around its new leader. He also said he would not campaign on behalf of the federal Conservatives in the next election.

“I’m not campaigning for anyone like I didn’t last time either. I’m so overwhelmed here, I literally go around the clock every day and can’t look away from the ball during an election or whatever, ”he said. “My main focus is Ontario and always will be. ”

Ford also said he was ready to work with federal politicians of all stripes.

“We have a phenomenal relationship,” Ford said of his experience working with the Trudeau government and, in particular, with the new Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland.

“I think the world of [Freeland]. We were able to accomplish a lot of things just by communicating, also working with the Prime Minister. ”

Watch: Ford congratulates O’Toole:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford salutes the new leader of the federal Conservative Party, but makes no apologies for working with the Liberal government in Ottawa. 1:15

Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper also tweeted congratulations to O’Toole, calling the Ontario MP his “friend” and “longtime colleague” and calling for party unity.

It remains to be seen how unified the party is after a heated leadership campaign – a campaign that saw O’Toole’s campaign ask police to investigate the alleged hacking of private campaign information from the part of Peter MacKay’s team.

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier – who followed Scheer closely in the 2017 Conservative leadership race – today accused O’Toole of wearing a “real blue mask” to win leadership.

“On every major issue, the Conservative Party led by Erin O’Toole will be like the Liberals,” Bernier said in a statement.

The PPC leader appealed to supporters of the two socially conservative candidates in the leadership race – Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan.

“I want to tell them today: there is a place where you can fight openly for your values. Where they will not be criticized or closed, but will be proudly defended, ”Bernier said in a statement. ” You have a house. It is the People’s Party of Canada. ”

Watch: Bernier opens his arms to Sloan:

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier said Conservative Party leadership candidate and MP Derek Sloan would be more than welcome to his party. 1:13

O’Toole will hold a press conference on Parliament Hill on Tuesday morning. He is expected to advertise some key positions in the opposition.

In a statement congratulating O’Toole, Suzanne Cowan, President of the Liberal Party of Canada, said the Liberals are the only party that “will invest in the middle class and the most vulnerable, ensure the safety and support of Canadians, and protect environment. ”

“On behalf of Liberals across Canada, I want to congratulate Erin O’Toole on becoming leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and of the official opposition. I have a lot of respect for those who put their names on a ballot and who are committed to contributing to our democracy, ”Cowan said in the statement.


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