I want to personally thank Mr. O’Toole for his friendship and leadership.
Whether serving in the Canadian Armed Forces or as a Member of Parliament; he gave his all to our country.
I first met Erin when he visited Westman in the 2013 byelection and we’ve been friends ever since.
Who knew a lawyer from the Greater Toronto Area and a farmer from Elgin would get along so well.
Running for office, let alone being a leader of a political party, is a daunting responsibility.
Every single day you feel the push and pull of politics. Saying that it’s a challenging job is an understatement.
From running a leadership campaign and then as party leader during the 2021 General Election, held in a pandemic, he pushed forward.
Now that the vote is over, Conservatives must unite. We must focus all our energy and efforts on being an effective opposition.
Having a strong opposition is good for Canada.
We need to point out flaws where we find them.
We must propose amendments and alternatives when warranted.
And we need to oppose bad legislation and policy when we see it.
We will select a new interim leader this evening and the party will begin the process of getting ready for a leadership race.
Anytime a political party has a leadership race it presents an opportunity to present new policy ideas.
It gives an opportunity for members to outline what they are looking for in a new leader and for the future of our party.
My message to Conservatives and to all Canadians is to get involved.
I know many of you are frustrated and are very unhappy with the direction of our country.
Now is the time to share ideas and to present bold policy ideas that can get our nation’s finances back in order, to get our economy back up and running, and to get our lives back to normal.