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To overthrow Trudeau in Canadian election, O’Toole turns left

“The biggest challenge for every Conservative leader is finding a balance between Conservative Party of Canada members and the kind of people they need to vote for the Conservative Party,” said Ken Boessenkool, a former Conservative campaign strategist from Alberta. . “These two groups of people live on different planets.”

Mr. O’Toole entered politics relatively late in his life. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada in hopes of becoming a fighter pilot, but instead spent 12 years as a navigator in Canada’s then-aged fleet of on-board helicopters.

When Mr. O’Toole was in college, his father left a management position at the Canadian headquarters of General Motors east of Toronto to become a Conservative member of the Provincial Legislature, a position he held for 19 years. .

A door opened for Mr. O’Toole to enter politics in 2012, after working for two large law firms in Toronto and later as legal counsel at Procter & Gamble Canada. A cabinet minister resigned from the seat in the constituency where Mr. O’Toole had grown up and lived since returning from studying law in Durham, Ont.

Mr. O’Toole, who had become active in the Conservative Party while studying law, won the special election created by the vacant post in 2012. (Mr. O’Toole still lives in Durham Region today ‘ hui with his wife Rebecca, a business consultant and event planner, and their two children.)

Then, in 2015, he held a cabinet post for 10 months in Stephen Harper’s government as Minister of Veterans Affairs, after the previous one was demoted after a grueling exchange with veterans over service cuts. and retirement benefits.

In 2017, Mr. O’Toole tried unsuccessfully to replace Mr. Harper as party leader, posing as moderate. Last year he prevailed with a far-right approach, posing as a “true blue conservative” (blue is the party’s color) who vowed to “take back” Canada. Once he won, however, Mr O’Toole repudiated much of it – appealing to union members, a group rarely courted by Tories in the past, while making it clear he would not reopen not the abortion debate.

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