Conservatives smash Liberals in Durham byelection

Jamil Jivani, a long-time conservative activist, has been outspoken against COVID mandates and critical race theory training. He is also a proponent of free speech.

Conservatives smash Liberals in Durham byelection
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Thirty-six-year-old former broadcaster Jamil Jivani held the riding for the Conservatives after former leader Erin O'Toole resigned his seat, winning 11% more of the vote than his predecessor.

Jivani garnered 57% of the vote, an improvement on O'Toole's 46% in the 2021 federal election.

The governing Liberals' uncontested candidate, Robert Rock, secured 22.5% of the vote in the riding, down 7.5% from the party's last showing in Durham.

Jamil Jivani, a long-time conservative activist, has been outspoken against COVID mandates and critical race theory training. He is also a proponent of free speech.

The Federal Liberals sent a roster of cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister to the riding to campaign for Robert Rock, who is a currently a Ward 3 councillor in Durham Region. Rock had planned to run for the Conservatives as early as last year.

Rock claimed at the time he wanted to represent Durham as the Conservative choice to focus on "issues that matter to this community. Issues around affordability, issues around (the) supply chain, issues around responsible gun ownership.”

However, after seeking the Liberal candidacy, Rock explained his change of heart, stating to The National Post that, "Like many Canadians, I have supported candidates from many different parties – this includes the NDP and past versions of the Conservative Party. What I’ve come to understand is that the current version of the Conservative Party of Canada under Pierre Poilievre doesn’t speak to my values and the priorities of our communities here in Durham."

O'Toole resigned from his seat after his ouster from the leadership of the party, in part due to his failure to support the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy demonstration in Ottawa in January 2022.

O'Toole was first elected in 2012.

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