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Erin O’Toole Says Despite Past Disappointments We Are “Not Your Father’s Conservative Party”


JONQUIERE, QUE. – Back on the road with five days remaining to present her party to Canadians as best placed to govern, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole took on a new direction on Wednesday, speaking directly to voters who may not have not be considered voting Conservative before.

He also admitted that his party, like others, had let voters down in the past.

“Today I want to speak to the many Canadians who are starting to tune in to this election in its final days, and perhaps hopefully watching the Conservatives for the first time,” O’Toole said during from a campaign event to a legion in a constituency held by the Bloc Québécois north of Quebec.

“I know that some of you may be hesitant because of things you may have heard or slightly out of date impressions… I understand that for years you have been disappointed with Mr. Trudeau and the Liberal government, but really if we’re being honest you’ve been disappointed with parties of all stripes, mine included sometimes.

As opinion polls continue to show the Tories are in a close race with the Liberals, the surge in support O’Toole enjoyed at the start of the campaign appeared to level off last week. However, the latest data from Nanos Research gives O’Toole a slight lead in the national vote after a gradual increase in support in recent days.

In his speech, the Conservative leader sought to plead his case with voters who might previously have deregistered his party or who did not feel out of place in the so-called “big blue tent”.

“I just want to say up front that I know my party has some catching up to do, so I’m here to listen to you. I want to know your thoughts, your hopes, your fears and your dreams, and I hope that when Monday rolls around, even if you are not sure about your vote, you will look at Canada’s Conservatives a little differently, ”he said. -he declares.

It echoed a sentiment he first shared when he was elected the last Tory leader in 2020; that he wanted more Canadians to see a Conservative when they look in the mirror.

“From day one of my leadership, my priority has been to build a conservative movement where every Canadian can feel at home… We are no longer your father’s Conservative party,” he said Wednesday.

During the campaign, O’Toole sought to present a more progressive version of the party than that led by his predecessor Andrew Scheer, although the Liberals have made efforts to draw attention to his past of “true” conservatism and his years in Stephen Harper’s government.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said in his own campaign hiatus on Wednesday that the Conservative Party’s approach was “not the way to go,” continuing to recall how O’Toole said things during this campaign that are incompatible with its past positions.

Through attack ads and in social media posts, the Liberal Party and its candidates have highlighted past opposition to the carbon tax, advance motions on abortion and a vote on the project. stalled conversion therapy bill that saw the Conservative caucus majority vote against imposing a ban, although O’Toole voted in favor.

It remains to be seen whether his message that if voters want change, the Tories are the ‘only option’, will be the one he seeks to break through in the coming days as his campaign plans to stay on the road by visiting key constituencies until September. 20.

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