Conservative Senator Launches Petition Calling for O’Toole Leadership Review

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
November 15, 2021 Updated: November 16, 2021

A Conservative senator has launched a petition calling for a review of Erin O’Toole’s leadership within six months.

“I am launching a petition so that our party members can have their say on the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada,” Saskatchewan Sen. Denise Batters said in a video on Nov. 15.

“On behalf of Conservative activists and members from coast to coast, we started this petition because we don’t want to see this party ripped apart again.”

The petition says O’Toole won the 2020 Conservative Party leadership race by “claiming to be a ‘true blue’ Conservative,” but when it came to election time, he ran a campaign that was “nearly indistinguishable from Trudeau’s Liberals.”

“As Leader, O’Toole has watered down and even entirely reversed policy positions without the input of party or caucus members,” the petition says.

“On the carbon tax, on firearms, on conscience rights—he has contradicted positions within the same week, the same day, and even within the same sentence!”

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, the party’s shadow minister for natural resources, said she is “profoundly disappointed” that Batters has launched this petition as it serves as a distraction that benefits the rival Liberals. She was one of several Conservative MPs who criticized Batters’s move.

“Today, after a week of heavy preparation, I was going to launch a defence [against] Trudeau’s war on workers in a key Canadian industry. Instead, a CPC caucus member did this, and this is what will lead the news for a week. Liberals are rejoicing!” Rempel Garner said on Twitter.

“Every Canadian will be focused on this for the next month instead of anything we do in the House. I ask my colleague to withdrawal this petition, have it out in caucus instead, and for the good of Canada let us MPs get back to work.”

Batters’s petition was dismissed by Conservative Party president Robert Batherson who said the petition “is not in order.”

“The question you are proposing to ask in a referendum does not adhere to the Constitution of the Conservative Party of Canada,” Batherson said in a statement.

Election Campaign Review

Following the Sept. 20 election in which the Liberals held on to their minority government, O’Toole said he would learn from his defeat and launched a review to examine the party’s loss in the election.

The Conservative caucus met on Oct. 5 and voted to give MPs the power to conduct a review of the leader, as allowed under the Reform Act.

Epoch Times Photo
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole gives a thumbs up as he enters the building for the first Conservative caucus since the federal election, on Oct.5, 2021 in Ottawa. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

For a review to happen, 20 percent of the caucus need to sign a petition asking the caucus chair for a review. A secret ballot poll would then be held to decide the fate of the leader.

Tories have assigned former Conservative MP James Cumming to chair the election campaign review. Cumming has said he would like the review to be concluded by the end of the year.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.