Conservative Leadership Candidate Hopes To Re-Earn Trust For Tories

Erin O'Toole. (Photo by Kirk Dickinson)

Conservative leadership hopeful Erin O’Toole says it’s important to keep areas such as Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex in mind federally, because of the their proximity to the U.S. border.

“We need to make sure we keep that market open with the new president. I don’t think [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau is taken seriously in Washington at all — it’s all about image and photos with him,” he says. “We need to get down to [business], roll up our sleeves and get our economy moving in Ontario, and I’m the one to do that.”

O’Toole, who also serves as MP for Durham, stopped in Chatham-Kent ahead of Friday’s southwestern Ontario debate in Komoka, to talk about what sets him apart from the other candidates in the PC leadership race.

With 12 years in the military, ten years in the private sector, along with his service in cabinet for former prime minister Stephen Harper, O’Toole says he’s Harper’s natural replacement.

“I’ve got the most support in this race from our caucus, and they know I can take on Justin Trudeau in the next election, and that’s what this is about,” he says. “I’m positive Conservative in that I have great ideas for the future and I’m bringing the team together, not dividing us.”

O’Toole also says he feels that he can turn around any negative impressions left by the former Tory government.

“People voted for change because they were sick of us, so we have to re-earn that trust,” he says. [Canadians] miss a balanced budget and they certainly miss the fact that they used to keep more of their own money. The Liberals have raised taxes on people, on small businesses, [and] they’ve brought in a nationalized carbon tax.”