MP Erin O'Toole. (Photo by Kirk Dickinson)

O’Toole Collects Local Endorsements

A leading candidate for the federal Conservative Party leadership has picked up some key local endorsements.

Erin O’Toole has landed the support of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley in his campaign for the permanent Conservative leadership in Ottawa.

“As a former dairy farmer myself, it’s very important that our next leader stands up for farm families,” said Shipley in a statement.  “Erin O’Toole understands rural issues, the needs of our agricultural industry, and his support for supply management is unwavering.  I am proud to stand with Erin O’Toole.  He is the best choice for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.”

“Bev’s family has farmed in his riding for 180 years,” said O’Toole in response. “As the founding member of the Rural Caucus, he brings his understanding of rural and farming communities to Parliament every day. I have great respect for his dedication as a Parliamentarian and I am thrilled to have his support.”

O’Toole, the current MP for Durham, has also been endorsed by Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey.

“Experience and family values will make him a great leader and prime minister,” said Bailey in a statement.

“Bob has been a strong voice for southwest Ontario and for industry in the region,” O’Toole said in a responding statement.  “He and I share a focus on job creation and I am pleased to have his support.”

O’Toole is one of 14 registered candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, which has been open since the resignation of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper following the 2015 federal election.  Rona Ambrose has been acting party leader and Official Opposition Leader.  The Conservative Party will choose its leader during its convention in May in Toronto.