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Conservative Party leadership candidate brings his views to Barrie

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Durham MP Erin O'Toole, a leadership candidate for the federal Conservative Party, speaks at a roundtable in Barrie on Wednesday organized by Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard.

Durham MP Erin O'Toole, a leadership candidate for the federal Conservative Party, speaks at a roundtable in Barrie on Wednesday organized by Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard.

The race is crowded for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party, whose members will elect a new leader in May.

There may be 14 candidates, but Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard knows who is getting his vote.

The rookie MP hosted two events in Barrie on Wednesday in support of Durham MP Erin O’Toole, who was veterans affairs minister in the last year of the Harper government.

O’Toole served 12 years in the Canadian Forces, and later 10 years in the private sector with a manufacturing company on Bay Street with law firms working with small- and large-size businesses.

“But I also build great teams and I’ve got amazing support from MPs in our caucus, including John Brassard,” he said.

Brassard is the opposition critic for veterans affairs.

The Barrie-Innisfil MP hosted a roundtable Wednesday afternoon and later a meet-and-greet at the Barrie Molson Centre lounge to introduce O’Toole to the community.

“This is about reaching out and winning back a lot of support that may have voted for the Conservatives in 2011 or 2008, but left us last time for a whole range of reasons,” the Durham MP said. “With a new style of leadership and with some Conservative principles on the economy – keeping taxes lower, working on job creation – a lot of Canadians will come back (to the party), particularly in southern Ontario where John and I are both MPs.

“We will win back the trust of Canadians if we show a bit of a new style, but adhere to our track record of being strong on the economy, keeping taxes low and helping families and seniors,” O’Toole added.

The other 13 leadership candidates are putting forth their positions and he intends to do the same, he added.

“I’ve been going to any debate where I can share my ideas and my positive vision. Some of the candidates are caucus colleagues of ours and are good friends,” O’Toole said.

“One is from the United States who comes up and campaigns occasionally,” he said, alluding to television personality and leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary.

“I don’t have to change how I’ve donated or my views on things,” he added. “I’ve always been a strong supporter of the party and now I’m asking the party to trust me, and the team around me, to make sure we win the next election.”

Brassard described O’Toole as a strong fiscal Conservative.

“When I check all the boxes off, he’s the type of leader I think the Conservative Party needs,” Brassard said. “He believes in better and efficient government.

“With what he represents in terms of the Conservative movement, he is the kind of leader who can take on Justin Trudeau and win the 2019 election.”

The Conservative Party will elect a new leader on May 26 and 27 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Former Conservative MP Stephen Harper was the 22nd prime minister of Canada from Feb. 6, 2006 until Nov. 4, 2015.

To learn more about the leadership race, visit www.conservative.ca.

imcinroy@postmedia.com



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