Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole has been forced to resign from his position after losing a leadership vote by his caucus, losing 73 to 45.
O'Toole only needed 50-percent-plus-one of the vote to be ousted.
Prior to the vote, O'Toole's pleaded with caucus, saying he is "committed to change," and that he will move up the convention/leadership review date.
“I am asking for your support colleagues. I am asking to have the courage to give a chance to our teams,” he said. “You have been heard. My goal will be to bring us together” This however, was not persuasive to the demoralized caucus, which has grown tired of O'Toole's "flip-flopping" on issues.
This news comes just days after 35 MPs signed a letter, mandating a leadership review take place. The minimum number to trigger a review is 20 MPs. Following the publication of this caucus revolt, O'Toole said, "there are two roads open to the Conservative Party of Canada. One is the road of Randy Hillier and Derek Sloan."
"It is angry, negative, and extreme. It is a dead-end; one that would see the party of Confederation become the NDP of the right. The other road is to better reflect the Canada of 2022," O'Toole said Monday evening. "To recognize that conservatism is organic not static and that a winning message is one of inclusion, optimism, ideas and hope. There is a report tonight of members of the Conservative caucus who are unsure of what road to take."
"They are, it is said, bringing a letter to caucus to trigger a vote on my leadership of the Party. Good. I’m not going anywhere and I’m not turning back. Canada needs us to be united and serious! It’s time for a reckoning.
"To settle this in caucus. Right here. Right now. Once and for all. Anger vs. Optimism. That is the choice in simple terms," he continued. "I will accept the result of this vote. The signers of this letter must accept it, too. They brought it. They’ll have to live with it."
An interim leader will be selected later tonight, as the caucus will rejoin at 7 pm tonight.
'We must rebuild trust'
A statement from Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux following the vote said that the party must regain the trust of Canadians.
"Today, our caucus voted for a change in leadership," he wrote. "Canadians are proud of our identity, as a society that is forward-thinking, globally competitive and a safe place to live. A country that is fiscally responsible and cares about our neighbours We want our leadership to clearly reflect these values.
"As a party, we must rebuild trust amongst Canadians and show them that we are strong and stable leaders who are rooted in our conservative values while also understanding that we evolve, learn, and modernize our party to reflect all.
"This is an opportunity for the party, and I look forward to ensuring we work together on a strong path forward."
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