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Senator Batters still in the Conservative Senate caucus


OTTAWA – Senator Denise Batters may no longer be welcome in the national Conservative caucus, but she is still a member of the party’s Senate caucus.

Conservative senators have chosen to keep Batters in their fold, despite Party Leader Erin O’Toole’s decision on Tuesday to kick her out of the national caucus after challenging her leadership.

Karine Leroux, spokesperson for Conservative Senate Leader Don Plett, confirmed Thursday that “Senator Batters is still a current member of the Conservative Senate caucus.”

She declined to elaborate, saying “it would infringe on caucus confidentiality.”

The decision to keep Batters in their caucus suggests that Tory Senators challenge O’Toole, who warned on Wednesday that anyone who supported his attempt to force an early vote of confidence on his leadership would be kicked out of the national caucus for not being a football player. team.

When former Leader Andrew Scheer kicked Senator Lynn Beyak out of the national caucus in 2018, the Conservative Senate caucus immediately followed suit.

Beyak was harassed for her defense of residential schools and her refusal to remove posts on her Senate website that were deemed racist towards Indigenous peoples. She resigned from the Senate last January before senators could vote on a motion to remove her completely from the chamber.

Plett himself tweeted Tuesday his support for O’Toole’s decision to give Batters the boot.

“As always, I continue to support Erin O’Toole’s strong, principled leadership to unite the Conservative Party of Canada,” he wrote.

But the other 17 Conservative senators obviously had other thoughts on the matter. After meeting separately to discuss it, they decided to keep Batters in the fold.

The drummers could not be reached immediately for comment.

But she said she had received a lot of support from Senators and MPs for her decision to launch a petition on Monday to force a referendum on O’Toole’s leadership within six months, rather than await a leadership review scheduled at the party’s national convention. in 2023.

And she asked why O’Toole dumped her when he had done nothing about fellow Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald, who also challenged O’Toole’s suitability to lead.

Ahead of the first national caucus meeting after the Sept. 20 election, MacDonald wrote to Tory MPs urging them to empower themselves to overthrow the leader.

“The status quo under the current circumstances is a mistake and a gift to the Liberals that this party and this country cannot afford,” he wrote.

Like Batters, MacDonald said O’Toole’s attempt to present a more moderate centrist party was a failure, resulting in a loss of election seats and none of the breakthroughs promised in central Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 18, 2021.

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