Erin O’Toole is no longer in charge of the Conservative Party of Canada.
O’Toole, who faced criticism from his own ranks for his failure to speak up on behalf of the truckers’ Freedom Convoy last week in Ottawa until after it was “safe” to do so, faced a secret vote Wednesday morning where he was voted out by 73 out of the 119 Conservative MPs to oust him as the leader of the CPC.
His ouster comes just 17 months into his tenure as leader and one failed election at the helm. The vote was initially forced by 35 MPs unhappy with O’Toole’s results last year and his continued struggle to lead the party. Global News reported:
But the root of the anger goes back much further. O’Toole won the leadership claiming to be a “True Blue” conservative — a contrast with Peter MacKay, who despite holding senior cabinet roles in Stephen Harper’s government, was labelled by the O’Toole campaign as a red Tory.
Yet once the leadership was secured, O’Toole took the party in a much different direction. After pledging to scrap the Liberals’ carbon levy, O’Toole promised a version of his own — which he steadfastly denied was a “tax,” despite it applying a surcharge on purchases like gas. In the interim, John Williamson has stated his intention to run as the interim Leader of the Conservative Party.
“I will respect my caucus colleagues,” wrote Williamson on Twitter. “I will listen to our movement. I know how to keep us united around the things that matter most to us as Conservatives.”
O'Toole's removal is considered an expression of what party insiders said was a broad dissatisfaction with O’Toole’s performance and an unwillingness to take a principled lead.