O’Toole Voted Out: Conservative MPs Choose to Evict Leader

By Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET
February 2, 2022Updated: February 2, 2022

Conservative Party MPs have chosen to remove Erin O’Toole as leader today after caucus deliberations, with a reported 73 out of 118 MPs voting against him.

The party will next decide on who will serve as the interim leader. New Brunswick MP John Williamson said he is running as a candidate for the position.

“I am running to be interim Leader of our Conservative Party,” he wrote on Twitter on Feb. 2. “I will respect my caucus colleagues. I will listen to our movement. I know how to keep us united around the things that matter most to us as Conservatives.”

The Conservative caucus had spent the morning deliberating on O’Toole’s future, where the Tory leader reportedly apologized and made a plea to be given a second chance.

Some Conservative MPs took to Twitter to thank O’Toole for his work.

“Politics is difficult, often ungrateful, sometimes cruel,” wrote Quebec MP Alain Reyes in French.

“I want to sincerely thank Erin O’Toole for his dedication as leader of the [Conservative Party]. Hats off for having accepted to do immense family sacrifices to serve our party and country.”

B.C. MP Dan Albas struck a similar tone.

“Leadership takes a huge toll on the individual and their family. I would like to sincerely thank Erin & Rebecca O’Toole for their service to Canadians,” he said.

The party’s caucus secretary, Eric Duncan, said on Twitter that the party’s focus should now be “uniting our Caucus and our Party” and “defeating the Liberals in the next election.”

He added the shake-up comes at a time when Canada is in need of “a change in national leadership.”

“I am proud to be a Conservative MP, and I’m optimistic about the chance to move forward and tackle the many issues facing our country,” he said.

O’Toole had been criticized among party members for having run in the previous leadership race in 2020 as a “true blue” conservative and later on pivoting to adopt more liberal policies to broaden the appeal of the party.

With his 2021 electoral loss, the gamble didn’t pay off and resentment had been building ever since, whether through campaigns to have him removed or by prominent members of his caucus talking glaringly different stances than him.

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.