Erin O’Toole wins Conservative leadership race

Federal Conservative Leader, Erin O'Toole. (File Photo by Mark Brown, Blackburn News)

The Conservative Party of Canada has a new leader. Erin O’Toole has been named head of the country’s Official Opposition.

Following a gruelling delay, the results finally came in early Monday morning just after 1 a.m. The announcement was originally scheduled to be declared sometime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday.

A malfunction with the machine responsible for opening ballot envelopes prevented the news from coming in on time. Volunteers, under the supervision of scrutineers, had to survey and tally approximately 4,000 damaged ballots before O’Toole could be determined as the winner.

The party broke a new record sending a total of 269,469 ballots to Conservative members by mail. By Friday evening’s deadline, the party received 174,849 ballots, a voter turnout of nearly 65 per cent.

In 2012, O’Toole was elected as a Member of Parliament for Durham. In 2015, he was appointed Minister of Veterans Affairs under the Stephen Harper government. O’Toole first ran for Conservative leadership back in 2017, where he finished third in the race to replace Harper. Since then, O’Toole has served as the Official Opposition critic for foreign affairs.