Former Minister of Veterans Affairs, serving military member for 12 years and founding member of True Patriot Love, Erin O’Toole, announced last week he would be running for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, which he joined in a by-election back in 2012.
“My main priority is to rebuild the trust of Canadians in our party. To regroup and learn from our past mistakes and try a fresh style of leadership, with a positive intake, by tapping into new groups of people, like my military family,” he explained.
Mr. O’Toole plans to use his military knowledge and background to succeed in this new adventure of his.
“It definitely allows me to engage in a new perspective in writing the next chapter of the Conservative Party. It goes along the lines of what we have always told veterans transitioning to the next level of their career if you use your experience, your talents, and your skills from the battlefield in your new endeavours, your success rate is looking up.”
The former minister is also a dad of two, Millie and Jack, who have been supportive of their dad’s new challenge.
“Whenever it gets rough, we always have a thought for military families across Canada. We have known the real stress associated with deployments before and can now have perspective on our situation and be thankful that I will be home in a couple of days. We definitely value military families for all they do in the service of our country and plan on making it a priority if we get elected.”
Furthermore, he wants to focus on reinforcing the country’s economy, job market, and the military as his main priorities. “Those three fields are definitely my passion. I have lots of ideas to include the younger generation in our plans, and I hope to have a chance to get it in motion.”
O’Toole also wants to reassure Canadians everywhere he will be taking his role very seriously in representing all of them in office. “Though my French is rusty, it is a priority for me to improve it and ensure I can address all issues in both official languages. My kids are both enrolled in French immersion, and we plan to spend our summer holidays in French Canada so we can all immerse in this culture and better represent all Canadians.”
He plans on using the next couple weeks to help his fellow Conservative colleagues get to know him better and win back the trust that has been lost in the last election. His upcoming visit to Manitoba is particularly dear to his heart, “I have served in Manitoba for several years, and I always make it a duty to reach out to not only my colleague of the CPC, but also veterans, serving members, volunteers, and MFRCs during my visits.”
He will also be attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in his riding, as well as visit schools in his district, if time allows it. “I’m sad to be missing the True Patriot Love (TPL) fundraising dinner my wife Rebecca and I attend each year for the occasion. Unfortunately, it coincides with the first contender’s to CPC leadership event in Saskatoon, on November 9th. I truly wish we could have made it,” added O’Toole, who is still an active member of his local Legion, a member of Rotary Club and volunteer for Treble Victor and TPL.