'More than ever, our country needs a strong, united CPC': Harper, Trudeau respond to Erin O'Toole's leadership win

Elisabetta Bianchini
·4 min read
'More than ever, our country needs a strong, united CPC': Harper, Trudeau respond to Erin O'Toole's leadership win

After a long night of malfunctions and delays, Erin O’Toole has, finally, been named the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

“Today you have given me a clear mission to unite our party, to champion our conservative principles, to show Canadians what we know so well, that Justin Trudeau and his team are failing our great country,” O’Toole said in his victory speech. “We must continue to point out Liberal failings and corruption but we must also show Canadians our vision for stronger, prosperous and more united Canada.”

“Canada can and must do better, and Conservatives will work hard to earn the trust and confidence of Canadians in the next election.”

The Sunday evening event was expected to commence at 6:00 p.m. ET but was tied up by a six hour delay after thousands of ballots were damaged, having to be taped back together.

In the end, O’Toole received received 57 per cent of the votes on the third ballot, with Peter MacKay coming in second place with 43 per cent.

Another notable aspect of the leadership race was the surprisingly strong showing by Leslyn Lewis, coming in third place.

Following the announcement of the final results, former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper posted a congratulatory message to the new leader of the party.

“Congratulations to my friend, long-time colleague, Erin O’Toole,” Harper’s tweet reads. “More than ever, our country needs a strong, united [Conservative party] ready to form government.”

The Liberal party also released a statement following O’Toole’s win.

“On behalf of Liberals across Canada, I want to congratulate Erin O’Toole on becoming the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition,” the statement issued by Suzanne Cowan, president of the Liberal Party of Canada states. “We have a real chance to build a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener, more fair, and more competitive, and while we will have our differences, we hope the Conservative leader will join us in that work.”

“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.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also shared a public message to O’Toole, saying that he looks forward to working with him to support Canadians.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called O’Toole a “brilliant, principled patriot who is driven by a desire for a stronger Canada” after his win. Kenney also shared a message congratulating Lewis on her showing in the leadership race.

“Leslyn has broken through many barriers to become a significant voice in Canadian political life,” the tweet from the Alberta premier reads. “I hope and expect to see great things from her in the future!”